Captains blow three run lead, fall 4-3
EASTLAKE – Despite a stellar start from Dylan Baker, the Lake County Captains blew a three-run lead as they fell to the South Bend Silver Hawks 4-3 on Friday night.
Baker (7-6, 3.95) made his 22nd start of the season in opposition to Silver Hawks’ righty Rob Coe (3-1, 3.25).
The Captains drew first blood in the third inning as centerfielder LeVon Washington tapped a one-out single to right and scored on a follow-up single by shortstop Dorssys Paulino. Cue catcher Jeremy Lucas, who lined a double just inside the foul line to score Washington. A fielder’s choice followed that allowed Paulino to score on a throwing error by the third baseman to give the Captains the 2-0 lead.
Another South Bend error proved costly in the fourth inning after right fielder Jorge Martinez led off with a double and scored on a fielding error by the centerfielder.
Meanwhile, Baker torched the Silver Hawks’ offense for six innings of scoreless ball. The starter surrendered just two hits and walked one while striking out seven before he was replaced with reliever Jimmy Stokes to start the seventh.
Stokes ran into trouble in the eighth inning as he surrendered a pair of one-out singles. Stokes was replaced with Anderson Polanco, who failed to minimize the damage. Shortstop Andrew Velazquez greeted Polanco with a single to load the bases before walking two straight batters. Polanco’s evening came to an end as he gave way to Grant Sides, who incited a force play that scored two more as second baseman Yhoxian Medina committed a throwing error, giving South Bend the 4-3 lead.
The Captains supplied a pair of base runners in their share of the eighth but couldn’t capitalize for any runs. That was all South Bend closer Jimmy Sherfy needed as his 96 mph fastball overmatched the Captains, sealing the 4-3 win for the Silver Hawks.
Captains’ manager Scooter Tucker noted that games such as Friday’s are an unfortunate part of baseball. “We could have gotten out of the inning, but we failed to make some pitches too. It was a little bit of everything. They hit the ball, we walked a guy; it was not just one thing.”
Despite Friday’s loss, Tucker considered the home stand successful as the team went 5-1. “I’m pleased with how the guys have being playing,” Tucker said. “Going into tonight, we were eight out of the last 10. We’ve certainly been playing better and I think we’ll continue to play better. We’ll see how we rebound, that’s the big thing.”
Next, the Captains hit the road for a four-game series with the Lansing Lugnuts. Righty Robbie Aviles (3-3, 3.70) is scheduled to start Saturday’s game against Lansing right-hander Kendall Graveman (0-1, 3.98).
Stephanie is a crime and general assignment reporter for The Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio. She’s an alumna of Cleveland State University with a degree in Journalism and Promotional Communication. You can follow her on Twitter @7thInningSteph.