Silver Hawks Exercise Inalienable Rights: Life, Liberty, Beating Lake County 6-2
Shortstop Andrew Velazquez extended his club-record 64-game on-base streak with an RBI single in the top of the second as the South Bend Silver Hawks (10-5, 50-34) rallied for a 6-2 win over the Lake County Captains (9-6, 36-49) on Friday night at Four Winds Field. The Hawks offense racked up twelve hits to back a strong start from Blayne Weller.
More than 7,000 fans were in attendance for the 4th of July game, which was highlighted by an outstanding rendition of the national anthem before the game by NewsCenter 16's Megan Hickey and a spectacular fireworks show after the game.
Lake County, the Class-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, got off to a fast start with a pair of runs in the top of the first. Weller (W, 4-4) got off to an inauspicious beginning as he plunked leadoff hitter Claudio Bautista in the back on the second pitch of the game. After striking out the next two batters, Weller fell behind first baseman Nellie Rodriguez and gave up a two-run blast down the left field line to put the Captains ahead 2-0.
South Bend, the Class-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, struck back with two runs in the bottom of the second. Second baseman Jamie Westbrook led off the inning by beating out an infield single. Captains starter Caleb Hamrick (L, 2-4) retired the next two hitters before surrendering a hit-and-run single through the right side to center fielder Breland Almadova to put runners at the corners with two outs. Velazquez followed with a hit-and-run single to the vacated shortstop hole that scored the first run of the game for the Hawks and chased Almadova to third. With left fielder Chuck Taylor at the plate, Velazquez broke for second and when the catcher tried to throw him out, Almadova swiped home to tie the game at 2-2 on the double steal.
The Hawks followed up with three more runs in the bottom of the third inning. With one out, right fielder Stryker Trahan launched a 2-0 pitch over the right field wall for a solo home run and a 3-2 South Bend lead. Westbrook followed by doubling down the left field line and catcher Michael Perez drove him home with a double to center. Third baseman Ryan Gebhardt extended the lead to 5-2 with a ground ball single up the middle.
Weller dominated after the first inning, allowing just five more baserunners and no more runs through the rest of his six innings. He struck out nine Captains and only allowed two runners to reach scoring position after the first. Jose Jose came on in relief of Weller to start the seventh inning. He allowed a leadoff single but induced right fielder Torsten Boss to ground back to the mound for a 1-6-3 double play before striking out left fielder Brian Ruiz to end the top of the seventh.
The Hawks added an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh inning. Designated hitter Joe Munoz led off with a double and came around to score on two wild pitches by Captains reliever Wander Beras for a 6-2 Hawks lead. Jose tossed a scoreless eighth inning before giving way to Nick Sarianides in the top of the ninth. Sarianides pitched a perfect ninth, striking out two Captains along the way.
The Hawks and Captains meet up again Saturday night at 7:35pm. Right hander Dace Kime (4-9, 4.97 ERA) gets the start for Lake County while the Hawks counter with right hander Sean Furney (3-4, 4.70 ERA).