21st June 05:58
MINORS: Captains are Northern Division Champs
Lake County Advances to SAL Championship Series with 3-2 Win Over
Eastlake, OH – The Lake County Captains swept through the
best-of-three Northern Division Championship Series with a brilliant
outing by Keith Ramsey to topple the Lexington Legends by a final
count of 3-2 in front of a sold out crowd of 8,566 joyous Captains
fans at Eastlake Ballpark on Friday evening.
Lake County (2-0) needed only three runs in each of the two series
victories over Lexington (0-2) thanks to lights-out pitching by the
Captains staff. With tonight’s victory, the Captains notched their
55th win at home in the inaugural season of Eastlake Ballpark.
Ramsey (W, 1-0, 13-6) was in command from the start, throwing first
pitch strikes to 23 of the 27 Legends batters he faced. In his seven
scoreless innings of work, he yielded one run on a mere three hits in
81 total pitches, 63 were strikes. Ramsey, the pitching staff’s leader
in strikeouts, added five more tonight to increase his season’s total
to 113. In 13 starts at home this season, Ramsey is 10-0 with a 1.77
ERA in 81.1 innings.
Lake County’s offensive hero on the night was Ben Francisco who went
2-3 with a home run, a run scored, and two RBI. Francisco ignited the
evening’s scoring when he blasted a 1-1 pitch for a solo dinger down
the right field line off Lexington starter Fernando Nieve (L, 0-1,
14-9) in the bottom of the second inning. It was Francisco’s 12th of
the 2003 campaign.
After the Legends evened the score at 1-1 in the top of the sixth
inning, the Captains responded with the decisive two runs in the
bottom of the frame. Shaun Larkin started the rally with a one-out
single to right and moved to third base on a double by Bill Peavey.
Francisco then drove the last offering of the night by Nieve through
the left side of the infield to plate Larkin. Michael Aubrey then
followed by reaching on a fielder’s choice when the Legends
unsuccessfully attempted to cut down Peavey at home, giving the
Captains a 3-1 lead.
Lexington threatened the Captains’ lead in the eighth by loading the
bases with no outs but managed to score only one run on a sacrifice
fly to centerfield. Lake County reliever Kevin Martin got out of the
jam when he coaxed Lexington third baseman Pat Peavey, the brother of
Bill Peavey, to line out to Captains second ba***** Micah Schilling
who then doubled off a runner at second for an unassisted double play.
Todd Pennington (S, 2, 20) had both his fastball and off-speed pitch,
the latter commonly referred to as “The Thing”, in prime form as he
worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning, striking out the final two batters to
send the Captains into the SAL Championship Series.
Lake County will host both Game 1 and Game 2 of the Best-of-Five SAL
Championship Series before the series will shift to the Southern
Division champions for the final three games. Game 1 is scheduled for
Monday, September 8 at 7:05 PM, and Game 2 will be on Tuesday,
September 9 at 7:05 PM. RHP Daniel Eisentrager (12-3, 1.72) will make
the start on Monday for Lake County against the winner of the
Hickory/Rome series. The Captains Box Office will be open from 9:00 AM
until noon on Saturday morning and reopen on Monday morning at 9:00
AM. Box seats still remain for both games. For further information on
Captains playoff tickets, please contact the Box Office directly at