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Captains Report: Juan De La Cruz hot at the plate with a two-run homerun

Micah Miniard had a rough start on the mound while Juan De La Cruz dominated the plate, crushing the ball into right field and earning a two-run homer at the bottom on the 8th. IBI's Tyler Stotsky provides the details on Monday night's outing at Classic Park and more in the latest Captain's Report.

LAKE COUNTY CAPTAINS – 6, BELOIT SNAPPERS – 7

After a 3-3 road trip in Iowa, the Lake County Captains returned to Classic Park in the early morning hours on Monday and opened a three-game series with the Beloit Snappers. The Captains fell 7-6 after a late rally fell short in the eighth inning as the Snappers led 7-3.

Defensive struggles

The Captains defense struggled throughout the series opener with the Snappers. The defensive woes showed right from the start as the Captains made two errors in the first inning with Micah Miniard on the mound.

After a leadoff double, Miniard induced a groundball from Nate Mondou to first base. First baseman Juan De La Cruz fielded the ball and flipped it to Miniard coming to cover the base. Miniard couldn’t find the first base bag and the batter reached on an error. Mondou stole second base before a groundout plated the first run of the inning. On the play, De La Cruz attempted to cut down Mondou trying to advance to third base. The throw skipped past the third baseman and the second run scored from third.

In the sixth inning, Beloit led off with a double. The next batter laid down a sacrifice bunt and reached with on an error. Catcher Li-Jen Chu’s throw to first pulled the first baseman off of the bag. The error put runners on the corners with no outs. The Snappers scored on a double play one batter later.

Captains’ manager Larry Day cut right to the chase postgame about the Captains’ defense during the game, “If you make errors in the right spots, it’s going to cost you runs. We just didn’t play good defense tonight.”

Miniard’s rough outing

Micah Miniard made his seventh start on the mound for the Captains on Monday night. Miniard had a rough outing as he worked through six plus innings for the third straight outing.

Miniard ran into trouble in the first inning as Beloit touched him for two runs on two Captains errors. He worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the second to keep the game tied at two. He allowed a solo homerun in the third inning. After a clean fourth inning, Miniard allowed one run in each of the fifth and sixth innings. With Miniard pitching into the seventh, he allowed two singles and a double that loaded the bases before he left the game. Reliever Henry Martinez allowed a two-run single when he entered the game with both runs being charged to Miniard.

Miniard finished with a final line of six plus innings as he allowed seven runs (six earned) on ten hits. He did not walk a batter while he struck out four. He threw 89 pitches with 61 of them strikes.

Day spoke about Micah’s outing after the game, “He threw the ball well tonight, and he had a good angle to his fastball. His slider worked well and he mixed his pitches well. He deserved a better outing and I wish we would have played better behind him.”

Pitch Count by Inning: 21, 15, 13, 13, 9, 8, 10
Miniard’s 6th inning speeds: 91, 91, 78, 78, 88, 82, 89, and 90

De La Cruz helps out

Juan De La Cruz returned to the Captains on May 5th and had a great game at the plate for Lake County. De La Cruz went two-for-four with two runs scored and two RBI. De La Cruz singled in the second and scored on a Trenton Brooks groundout. In the eighth inning, De La Cruz made up for his first inning error with a two-run homerun to right field as the Captains pulled within one run at 7-6.


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