Tapia’s Home Run Tear, First Pro Wins, and More in the Captains’ Log
Bob Toth | On 08, May 2017
It has been some tough sailing for the Lake County Captains over the last two weeks, but the offense took out some frustration on Saturday night, putting up 13 runs on 17 hits in a 13-3 victory over the Quad Cities River Bandits. It evened the road series at one game each before Sunday’s 2:15 PM ET finale.
The win brought the Captains record up to 11-17. A team of streaks for much of April, they won five straight in the third week of the month before dropping nine of their last ten to conclude the first page of the regular season schedule. The Captains sit in the seventh spot in the eight-team Midwest League Eastern Division, seven and a half games out of first place.
Last week, they opened May with three with Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. They dropped the first two games of the series by 7-3 and 6-3 finals before salvaging the finale, 4-3, with some late game heroics. They dropped a 6-2 decision on Friday as they started their series in Illinois with Quad Cities before their big win on Saturday.
In other news and notes from the Captains’ log:
TAPIA’S HOME RUN TEAR
Left-handed hitting Emmanuel Tapia has been on a home run tear over the last four games.
He had a hit in four at bats in the middle game with Cedar Rapids, leaving the yard with a solo shot. He added a double and two RBI in the series finale. On Friday against Quad Cities, he hit his second solo homer in three days and went 3-for-6 on Saturday with a homer, two singles, and three runs batted in.
WAKAMATSU PLAYS THE HERO
Luke Wakamatsu was twice a hero on Friday as the Captains came from behind to defeat the Cedar Rapids Kernels, 4-3, in eleven innings.
The Captains had just fallen behind after a homer in the bottom of the eighth gave the Kernels the lead. But Lake County fought back as Conner Capel singled with one out to bring the switch-hitting Wakamatsu to the plate. He laced a line drive to the gap in left-center to score Capel all the way from first on his game-tying double.
He got another opportunity with runners on first and second in the eleventh. Tapia was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a wild pitch before being lifted for a pinch-runner. Capel was walked and Wakamatsu delivered again in the clutch, singling into right field to score Jorma Rodriguez from second to put the Captains up 4-3. Dalbert Siri worked the bottom half for the save.
FIRST PRO WIN FOR GARZA AND RYAN
Making his sixth appearance of the season and his first start, Justin Garza brought home the first win of his professional career on Saturday behind Lake County’s big win against Quad Cities. He worked a season-high five innings, allowing three runs on four hits with a walk and four strikeouts.
The 23-year-old right-hander was an eighth round pick in the 2015 draft by Cleveland out of Cal State Fullerton. He made six appearances last season from Goodyear, going 0-2 with a 7.00 ERA and a 2.11 WHIP in nine innings of work.
Ryder Ryan earned his first professional win on Thursday night against West Michigan. The 21-year-old right-hander selected in the 30th round by the Indians last season out of North Carolina allowed just one hit and one walk in two innings of work while striking out three. He has allowed just two earned runs on the season to carry a 1.80 ERA into his next outing.
ICE AND PANTOJA REACH IN SIX STRAIGHT
Second-year catcher Logan Ice has made a nice habit of getting on base over the last week.
After drawing a walk in the finale of their series with West Michigan last Sunday, Ice hit in four straight games. The Oregon State product singled and walked on Tuesday, singled and homered while driving in two on Wednesday, singled and walked on Thursday, and singled on Friday. His hitting streak came to an end with an 0-for-2 against Quad Cities on Saturday, but he drew a pair of walks to keep his on-base streak alive.
The 21-year-old infielder Alexis Pantoja has put up a similar streak over the last week, drawing a walk in an 0-for-3 against the Whitecaps on April 28. Since then, he has hit safely in five straight games, including a double on Tuesday against Cedar Rapids with a walk and an RBI and back-to-back two-hit games on Thursday and Saturday.
FOUR-HIT GAME FOR ISAACS
Todd Isaacs Jr. had a big day, as did most of his offensive teammates, on Saturday.
On the road against Quad Cities, Isaacs went 4-for-5 at the plate. He had four singles, scored a pair of runs, drove two more in, and stole a base.
The four-hit games matched his previous career best, established August 20, 2015, while in the Arizona League, and then matched again August 6 last season and September 5 while a member of the short-season Mahoning Valley Scrappers.
BROOKS HITS IN FOUR STRAIGHT
Trenton Brooks joined the Captains at the end of April after opening his season two weeks earlier with the High-A Lynchburg Hillcats. After going hitless in seven at bats there, his bat has arrived at the Single-A level.
He made his Captains debut on Tuesday against Cedar Rapids and hit a single in four trips. He added a single in the middle game of the series in four at bats before going 1-for-3 with a single and a walk in Friday’s loss. He had his first two-hit game of the season on Saturday as he got his first two extra base hits of the season, drove home his first run, and added another walk in the big Captains win.
Brooks was a 17th round selection by the Indians in the 2016 draft out of Nevada.
KRAUTH GIVES UP FIRST EARNED RUN
Pitcher Ben Krauth, a second-year man out of Kansas in 2016, allowed his first earned run of the season on Thursday in two innings of relief work against Cedar Rapids.
The left-hander had allowed a pair of runs in his second outing of the season, but both were unearned. He bounced back strong on Saturday, working three scoreless innings while allowing just one hit and two walks while striking out five. For the year, he is 3-0 with a 0.52 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP with 20 strikeouts, nine walks, and nine hits allowed in 17 1/3 innings pitched.
AIKEN LOSES FIFTH STRAIGHT
The Indians’ 2015 first round draft pick Brady Aiken has not had much to show for his first season at the Class-A level. The 20-year-old left-hander and one-time first overall pick in the draft by the Houston Astros has lost all five of his games so far this season.
He threw a beauty of a game on April 29 for the Captains against West Michigan, but took his fourth loss of the season in the outing. A tough third inning accounted for the only run and both hits that he allowed in the ball game, but the Captains would be shut out, 1-0, in the contest. He worked a season-high six innings, walked four, and did not strike out a batter while throwing 70 pitches.
He worked again on Friday and took a fifth straight loss. He allowed three runs on four hits with four walks and three strikeouts.
ON THE MOVE
Lake County also reassigned first baseman Jose Vicente to extended spring training in Arizona on Friday.