McKenzie Wins First, Ison’s Big Week, and More in the Captains’ Log
Bob Toth | On 22, Aug 2016
With the season winding down to its final two weeks, the Lake County Captains are staring down elimination from the postseason picture while working their way back to the .500 mark on the year.
The Captains (26-29) took both of their series over the last week, sweeping four straight from the West Michigan Whitecaps before taking two of three in Fort Wayne from the TinCaps. In winning six of their last seven and seven of their last ten, they have pulled their record within three games of reaching the even mark while tying the Great Lakes Loons for fourth place in the Midwest League Eastern Division. They will host five games in the next four days against Bowling Green before welcoming in Lansing for four home games over the weekend.
In other news and notes from the Captains’ log:
McKENZIE’S FIRST WIN
Young right-hander Triston McKenzie earned his first Class-A win of his professional career on Sunday by defeating the TinCaps.
McKenzie held Fort Wayne scoreless in five and two-thirds innings of work. He allowed four hits and a pair of walks while striking out eight batters. He improved to 1-1 with Lake County in four starts.
For the season, McKenzie has now struck out 89 batters in 73 innings between his four Captains starts and his nine starts for short-season Mahoning Valley.
ISON’S WALK-OFF WINNER
Bobby Ison was the hero for the Captains last Tuesday as Lake County rallied back from a 4-2 deficit in the bottom of the ninth.
Martin Cervenka and David Armendariz each singled to start the inning. Both moved up on a balk by the West Michigan reliever. A single from Sam Haggerty brought the score to 4-3 and put the tying run at third base. The Whitecaps went to the bullpen, but things continued to spiral downward for West Michigan as the new reliever threw a wild pitch, allowing Haggerty to move up into scoring position. Ison singled to right, scoring the tying and winning runs.
Ison contributed earlier in the game as well, hitting his second home run of the season to put the Captains on the board, 1-0, at the time.
MORE ON ISON
Ison had a season-high five hits in Wednesday’s win over West Michigan. In seven at bats, he had five singles. His previous high this season was two and his previous professional high was three hits in a game, done five times last season and twice his debut year in 2014.
Ison was able to get seven at bats in Wednesday’s game because it lasted 16 innings. The Whitecaps tied the game at five in the top of the fifth, but the Captains walked off winners with one out in the 16th after Anthony Miller walked, his pinch-runner Jose Medina moved to second on a sacrifice, and after an intentional walk, came around to score on Jodd Carter’s game-winning single to center.
HOMER SHORT OF THE CYCLE
In addition to his game-winning run, Medina put together a four-hit game on Sunday in the win over Fort Wayne. He scored twice, drove in a run, and came up just a home run short of hitting for the cycle.
Midwest League All-Star shortstop Willi Castro is on a tear at the plate again.
He has hit safely in each of his last six games and started the streak with doubles in four straight games. He was 3-for-7 in the 16-inning game and followed it with a 3-for-4 performance on Friday night. He added two singles on Saturday and two more on Sunday.
CERVENKA’S STREAKS ENDS
Cervenka’s nine-game hitting streak and 17-game on-base streak both came to an end with an 0-for-4 performance against Fort Wayne on Saturday.
Cervenka has been kept off base in just one August game so far after starting the month on a seven-game hitting streak. That hot stretch ended with an 0-for-2 game against Dayton on August 9, but he drew two walks to keep the on-base streak alive.
After a 1-for-5 day on Sunday, he is hitting .260 for the season.
SHANE WINS EIGHTH
Casey Shane won his eighth game of the season to improve to 8-10 on the year with a 4.46 ERA behind a quality start against the TinCaps.
The fourth-year right-hander, in his second season with Lake County, worked six and two-thirds innings, giving up just one run on five hits. He walked two and struck out seven, matching his previous season high, recorded twice (April 8 and May 28).
CHIANG LOOKING SHARP AGAIN
After allowing four earned runs in four and two-thirds innings on August 13 at Great Lakes, Shao-Ching Chiang bounced back with a three-hit effort in seven innings against West Michigan on Thursday.
The 22-year-old right-hander earned his eighth win of the season to improve to 8-10 with a 3.89 ERA and 1.12 WHIP in 24 starts this year. He did so behind one of his best outings of the season, as he allowed just one run on the three hits, did not walk a batter, and struck out six.
FITZSIMMONS STRIKING OUT BATTERS IN BULK
Jon Fitzsimmons, the 24-year-old right-hander from London, Ontario, continued his good pitching with three scoreless innings of one-hit relief on Wednesday against West Michigan.
In the outing, he struck out three more batters to push his season total to 13 in just seven and two-thirds innings of work.