Captains Take Game One, Clippers and RubberDucks Bow Out on Saturday

Lake County Take Game One From Fort Wayne; Captains 5, Tin Caps 1

Courtesy Lake County Captains

Luis Lugo started for the Captains and pitched five innings while allowing three hits, one unearned run, one walk and he fanned nine as the Captains beat Fort Wayne 5-1 on Saturday. With the win, the Captains took the one game to nothing lead in the best of three Midwest League Eastern Division Championship Series.

Fort Wayne took the early lead in the bottom of the first inning. Trea Turner doubled and was sacrificed to third base and scored on a fielding error. The unearned run put the TinCaps up 1-0 after one inning.

Lake County scored two runs to take the lead in the top of the second inning. The Captains used two hits, an error and two sac bunts to plate the two runs in the inning. Claudio Bautista knocked in the go-ahead run on a grounder to shortstop. Lake County led 2-1 after two innings.

The Captains scored three runs in the top of the third inning and took command of the ballgame. Clint Frazier and Bradley Zimmer had back-to-back doubles to begin the inning and the score was 3-1. Zimmer scored on sacrifice fly from Paul Hendrix and the Captains led 4-1. With two outs, Dorssys Paulino singled home a run to cap the inning, with the Captains ahead 5-1.

RHP Robbie Aviles pitched two scoreless innings of relief. Aviles walked one and struck out a pair. Aviles gave way to RHP Justin Brantley. Brantley pitched one scoreless inning an dstruck out two. Trevor Frank pitched the ninth for the Captains to close out the ballgame.

LHP Jeffery Enloe got the start for the TinCaps and allowed six hits five runs, three earned runs and he struck out one in two and one third innings of work. Enloe took the loss. Fort Wayne used three pitchers in relief to finish off the ballgame.

The Captains will host Game Two on Sunday at 7 PM and Game Three, if necessary, on Monday at 7 PM. The winner of the series advances to play the Western Division Champion on Wednesday September 10.

In Game two, the Captains will send RHP Dace Kime (7-14, 5.22) to the mound. RHP Ronald Herrera (6-9, 3.92) will start for Fort Wayne. First Pitch is scheduled for 7:00 PM from Classic Park in Eastlake, Ohio.

Tickets for every potential home game are only $9 in advance and all tickets will be $10 on the day of the game. Fans may also pre-purchase parking in the Classic Park Gold Lot for $6 ($8 on game dates).

Ducks Recap 090614

RubberDucks Bow Out of Playoffs with Loss; Flying Squirrels 5, RubberDucks 1

Courtesy of Akron RubberDucks

Richmond’s Devin Harris clubbed a two-run homer in the fourth inning Saturday night, sparking the Flying Squirrels to a 5-1, series-clinching victory over the Akron RubberDucks in Game 4 of the Western Division playoffs at The Diamond.

The loss ends the season for the RubberDucks, who made to the post-season after winning 73 games and claiming the West Division wild card. With the win, Richmond, the Giants AA affiliate, wins the series three-games-to-one, and advances to the EL Finals against either Portland or Binghamton. It will be the second appearance in the championship series for the Flying Squirrels. The RubberDucks were in the EL playoffs for the 15th time, and were vying for their 10th trip to the league finals.

The 2014 campaign will go down as an historic season in Akron baseball history. Playing for the first time under the new nickname “RubberDucks,” the team drew better than 350,000 fans to Canal Park. New stadium amenities such as the Tiki Terrace, Fowl Territory and The Game Grill and Bar enhanced the fan experience. On the field, the RubberDucks held down first place for over two months of the season under first-year manager David Wallace until injuries and call-ups took a toll. Three players who suited up for the RubberDucks this season are now in the major leagues—Tyler Holt, Kyle Crockett and Bryan Price.

The offensive slump that hit the RubberDucks in the final two weeks of the regular season carried into the Division series against Richmond. Akron hit just .189 as a team and managed to score just eight total runs in the series. Of those eight, five came in Thursday’s 5-1 win in Game 2.

On Saturday, former Giants top draft pick Chris Stratton (1-0) hurled six shutout innings, holding the RubberDucks to two hits. Four relievers pieced together the final three innings, including Tyler Rogers, who recorded a key out in the eighth to strand three Akron runners on base.

Harris lined a two-run homer to right, his first of the post-season, off Akron lefty Shawn Morimando (0-1) in the fourth to give Richmond a 2-0 lead. That was all Morimando allowed in five innings. He scattered three hits, struck out four, and worked around four walks. Morimando made the jump to AA midway through this season, taking over a rotation spot after winning eight games at Class-A Carolina.

Alex Lavisky drove in the only run of the game for Akron with an RBI double in the seventh inning. The Ducks loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth against Jose Casilla. After Casilla complained of an injury to his arm, Rogers came in and induced a fly ball by Lavisky to end the threat. The RubberDucks stranded 29 runners in the series.

The Squirrels tacked on three insurance runs in the eighth to remove the suspense, sending the crowd of 4,893 into a frenzy that lasted until closer Cody Hall fanned Ollie Linton to end the game, series and season for Akron.

Durham Bests Columbus, Return to Governors’ Cup Final; Bulls 4, Clippers 2

Courtesy Durham Bulls

The Durham Bulls advanced to the Governors’ Cup Final for the second straight year with a 4-2 win over the Columbus Clippers Saturday afternoon at the DBAP.

The Bulls recorded their third straight win after dropping the first game of the best-of-Five series against Columbus. The defending International League Champions will now face the Pawtucket Red Sox for the second straight season in the Governors’ Cup Final.

Starter Nathan Karns tied a Bulls Triple-A postseason record by striking out 12 batters over seven innings, matching Jeremy Hellickson‘s dozen punchouts against Louisville on September 9, 2009. Karns allowed just three hits and walked one, leaving with a 2-1 lead.

Karns’ performance resulted in a no-decision when reliever Merrill Kelly allowed a leadoff double to Matt Carson in the eighth. Carson advanced on a groundout and scored on Luke Carlin‘s sacrifice fly to make it a 2-2 ballgame.

The Bulls took back the lead in the bottom of the eighth though, as Cole Figueroa led off with a single, stole second, and scored on Jeremy Moore‘s double down the right field line. Vince Belnome then plated Moore with a double off the top of the Blue Monster for an insurance run, extending the Durham lead to 4-2.

Durham got their leadoff runner on by walk in both the fifth and sixth innings and managed to bring both around to score. Tim Beckham got a free pass in the fifth and scored on Nick Franklin‘s double. An inning later, Figueroa walked, moved to second on Mikie Mahtook‘s grounder, and scored on Moore’s single.

Kelly (1-0) finished the game to earn the win, while right-hander J.C. Ramirez (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing two runs to score in the bottom of the eighth.

The Governors’ Cup Final berth marks Durham’s sixth championship appearance since manager Charlie Montoyo took over the squad in 2007. The Bulls seek their third Governors’ Cup crown in that span, and fifth since 2002, after joining the International League in 1998.

The best-of-five Governors’ Cup Championship Round begins in Pawtucket, with Game One on Tuesday night and Game Two following on Wednesday night. The series shifts to Durham Bulls Athletic Park for Game Three on Thursday night, with Games Four and Five (if necessary) on Friday and Saturday.

Photo: Lianna Holub/DTTWLN photographer

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