Cervenka Having Big July, Armendariz Clutch, and More in the Captains’ Log
Bob Toth | On 26, Jul 2016
The Lake County Captains had a short week since the last Captains’ log as the club went out on the road for a three-game series in Beloit before a three-gamer at Wisconsin.
Coming in with two days of rest after off days on Monday and Tuesday, Brock Hartson led the club to a 4-2 win on Wednesday. Thursday’s game was rained out, leading to a doubleheader split on Friday, with the Captains winning the first game 9-1 before dropping the nightcap, 7-0. In Appleton, a four-run ninth gave the Captains an 8-7 lead, but a two-run home run by Isan Diaz sent Wisconsin to a walk-off win. Lake County recovered from the defeat with wins on Sunday and Monday by 6-2 finals.
After Monday’s game, the Captains remain in the middle of the Midwest League’s Eastern Division with a 13-17 record, a half dozen games behind the front running South Bend Cubs while sitting in fifth place. Following an off day on Tuesday, the club returns home briefly for a three-game set against the Cubs before hitting the road for a seven-game trip with stops at West Michigan and Great Lakes.
In other news from the Captains’ log:
ARMENDARIZ DELIVERS TWICE
David Armendariz came up big in the clutch twice for the Captains over the weekend.
On Saturday night, the outfielder stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the ninth with Lake County trailing, 7-5. He cleared the bases with a double to left to give the Captains an 8-7 lead. It would not last, as the Diaz homer in the bottom of the ninth off of reliever Devon Stewart, in his second inning of relief, would give the Timber Rattlers the walk-off victory.
Armendariz had five RBI on the night after hitting a two-run homer earlier in the game.
On Sunday, the results were even more positive for Armendariz and the Captains. With the Timber Rattlers holding a 2-0 lead in the seventh, Connor Marabell walked and Martin Cervenka singled. Armendariz scored both with a homer to center into the Captains bullpen to give Lake County a 3-2 lead. They would go on to a 6-2 victory over Wisconsin.
He was 3-for-4 on the day with two runs scored while coming up a triple short of the cycle. It marked the second time this season (May 30-June 1 while with Lynchburg) that Armendariz had homered in consecutive games.
CERVENKA’S BUSY WEEK
Cervenka had himself a special day at the plate in game one of Friday’s doubleheader against the Beloit Snappers, going 2-for-3 with a double, one run scored, and five runs batted in as the Captains took the opener, 9-1.
The catcher got to work in the first inning with a pair in scoring position and two down. Cervenka hit a grounder up the middle that bounced off of second base and into center field, scoring both runners on the single to give Lake County the lead. In the same situation in the sixth, Cervenka grounded past a diving Beloit shortstop to score both base runners to give the Captains a 5-0 lead. He added a sacrifice fly in the seventh for his fifth run knocked in on the day.
It was the second five-RBI game of the season for the backstop.
Cervenka’s eight-game hitting streak came to an end in the second game of the doubleheader on Friday, but he has hit in each of his next three to follow to extend his on-base streak to 15 straight games, dating back to July 3.
CHIANG’S SOLID OUTING
Shao-Ching Chiang avoided damage after some early control issues to register five innings of one-hit ball on Friday against Beloit. He walked three batters in the first three innings, but settled over the final two, striking out two batters in his outing as the Captains would earn him his sixth win of the season.
CASTRO KEEPS IT UP AFTER CAREER GAME
Willi Castro capped off his last homestand with a six-RBI game against Quad Cities and kept up the strong play during the club’s road trip. He had hits in five of the six games played, including three separate three-hit games. He went 4-for-12 against Beloit with a double, one RBI, and three runs scored. He followed it up with a 7-for-14 series against Wisconsin with three doubles, three runs scored, and two RBI.
The road trip boosted his season batting average by 12 points.
HARTSON WINS BACK-TO-BACK DECISIONS
Hartson improved to 7-4 on the season by earning wins in back-to-back games against Beloit and Wisconsin in the last week. He allowed two runs on six hits with four strikeouts over five innings against the Snappers on Wednesday, then allowed just one run on five hits and a pair of walks in six innings in defeating the Timber Rattlers on Monday afternoon.
CHRISTMAS IN JULY
The Captains have a big week planned as the first place South Bend Cubs come to town for three games in Eastlake beginning Wednesday. Classic Park will turn into Christmas central on the final two days, as the games will feature Christmas music, decorations on the concourse, Christmas movie clips, and even an appearance from Santa.
Thursday will also be a fireworks night and Thirsty Thursday, with a 25-cent beer Happy Hour one hour before first pitch, half priced domestics until 9 PM, and half price pop all game long. On Friday, the club will give away “A Captains Story” bobblehead of mascot Skipper dressed up as Ralphie from the movie “A Christmas Story”. The first 1,500 fans in attendance will receive the giveaway.
ON THE MOVE