Chris Jackson's single in the bottom of the eighth drove in the winning run as the Lexington Legends won the opener of a doubleheader 2-1 over the Lake County Captains at Applebee's Park Thursday night.
In the second game, Lake County's Michael Valadez hit a two-run double in the sixth inning to break a 1-1 tie as the Captains gained a split with a 3-2 victory. Games of a doubleheader in the South Atlantic League are seven innings in length, unless the score is tied at the end of seven, as it was in the opening game.
In the opener, with the score tied 1-1 in the bottom of the eighth, Lexington's Reinaldo Pestana reached on an error by shortstop Karexon Sanchez. Pinch runner Jorge De Leon replaced Pestana and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jay Austin. Jackson then singled through the right side of the infield, and De Leon beat the throw to the plate to give Lexington the 2-1 win. Kyle Godfrey (1-0) picked up the win in relief. Travis Turek (1-2) was the loser in relief for Lake County.
After Valadez's hit put Lake County in front 3-1 in the second game, Lexington's Brian Pellegrini hit his 14th home run of the year with the bases empty in the bottom of the sixth to cut the lead to one. Pellegrini's homer was his 35th as a Legend, adding to his career record total.
Lake County reliever Steve Smith worked out of a two-on, two-out jam in the bottom of the seventh to earn his 16th save. Starter Kaimi Mead (2-2) was the winner. Robert Bono (8-7) took the loss.
End of a rivalry?
The series with the Captains that concludes Saturday will be the only games of the season between former division rivals. Barring interleague play and/or reshaping the minor leagues, these also figure to be the last games between the Legends and Captains. Lake County is scheduled to leave the South Atlantic League after this season and begin play in the Midwest League in 2010.