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Captains Report: Juan Hillman struggles through five, but Tanner Tully provides solid innings in win

Juan Hillman recovered after allowing three early runs, but it was Tanner Tully and Emmanuel Tapia who were the heroes of Lake County's 4-3 win. IBI's Tyler Stotsky gives a broader look at the latest Captains' contest..

Lake County Captains 4, West Michigan Whitecaps 3

After West Michigan took a 3-0 lead after two innings, Lake County rallied for four runs, including three in the seventh and eighth innings. A two-run home run by Emmanuel Tapia in the eighth was the difference maker as the Captains won their third straight ballgame. 

Captains manager Larry Day spoke about the game, “It was a clean game tonight. We banged tonight from a hit standpoint. We didn't score a million runs but there was some loud outs.”

Hillman battles

Southpaw Juan Hillman struggled through the first two innings as West Michigan had four hits and two walks. The Whitecaps staked a 3-0 lead with a RBI double in the 1st and a RBI triple and RBI single one inning later.

In the final three innings, Hillman battled through and scattered just two hits and one walk. 

As a whole, Hillman threw five innings with three runs allowed on six hits. He walked three and struck out three. He threw 79 pitches, with 41 of them strikes. 

“Juan grinded his way through five innings to get us through the ballgame and bridge us to Tully.”

Hillman pitch count by inning: 19 24 10 17 9 (79 pitches, 41 strikes)

Hillman 5th inning speeds: 75 88 75 90 86 76

Tully solid as piggyback

As customary with all Hillman starts, Tanner Tully follows as the piggyback reliever. Tully held the opposition scoreless for the third time this season. The left-handed reliever dispatched the Whitecaps with 46 pitches, 33 for strikes. 

He worked around a leadoff single in the 6th with a double play and stranded a leadoff walk in the 7th. In the eighth, Tully hit a batter but escaped the inning unscathed, allowing Tapia to take the lead in the next half inning. He closed out the game with two foulouts and a swinging strikeout. 

“Tully was great tonight, he always pitches to contact and tonight he did quickly. We played clean defense behind Tully and Hillman. 

Tully: W (2-2), 4 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP

Tully’s pitch count: 9 14 14 9 (46 pitches, 33 strikes)

Tapia’s game-changer

For the second straight ballgame, first baseman Emmanuel Tapia came up with a clutch hit for the Captains. On Wednesday, Tapia tied the game in the ninth inning with a RBI groundout against Great Lakes. On Thursday night, Tapia gave the Captains a 4-3 lead with a two-run home run to right center field. Tapia now has eight home runs on the year, a team-high and tied for the Midwest League lead. 

“He hit a home run that won the game for us,” said Day. “He reminds me from a work-ethic standpoint, of Bobby Bradley. These guys make huge investments for their craft and it shows with the power numbers. They practice hitting a lot. The stuff that happens in games doesn't happen by chance. He works hard and I was glad he was able to hit that home run.”

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