Captains can't stall Hot Rods, Lose 2-1
EASTLAKE - The Lake County Captains hosted the Bowling Green Hot Rods for the second game of their opening home stand on Friday evening, which resulted in a 2-1 loss.
Starting for the Captains was Will Roberts, a right-hander out of the University of West Virginia. Roberts put together a solid six-inning start for a win in his last outing and despite the loss on Friday night he assembled another solid showing.
Roberts got into immediate trouble in the first inning. After striking out the leadoff batter, Hot Rods right fielder Drew Vettleson hit a single to center that dropped just in front of center fielder Luigi Rodriguez. Hot Rods center fielder Kes Carter followed with a triple down the right field line into the corner to plate Vettleson. After the designated hitter Jeff Malm struck out swinging, first baseman Cameron Seitzer reached base on an infield single to score Carter. Left fielder Joel Caminero singled on a bunt that pushed Seitzer to second, but catcher Alejando Segovia popped up to end the rally.
Bowling Green starting pitcher Parker Markel, a right-hander from Newport Beach, California, breezed through the first inning. In the second inning the Captains ran themselves out of a rally as hometown catcher Alex Lavisky continued his hot streak at the plate with a double to left-center, but got into a rundown on a groundball off the bat of right fielder Bryson Myles. Myles reached first on the fielder’s choice, but fell victim as he was picked off in a double-play to end the inning when third baseman Leonardo Castillo lined out to the pitcher.
Captains’ first baseman Jerrud Sabourin finally got to Markel in the sixth with a double to left-center before left fielder Todd Hankins cranked a triple deep to right-center to plate Sabourin and put the Captains on the board. Markel worked out of the inning though as he managed to strike out shortstop Francisco Lindor swinging.
After the rough first inning Roberts settled down and pitched well his next six innings, putting up zeros across the board until he was pulled with two outs in the seventh inning due to pitch count and right-hander Cole Cook was inserted into the game. Roberts’ finished the night going 6.2 innings and gave up five hits, two runs, and one walk while fanning seven batters.
Jacob Partridge replaced Markel in the bottom of the seventh, giving Markel a line of six innings, four hits, one run, and four strikeouts. Partridge sailed through the seventh retiring all three batters faced.
After Cook pitched a scoreless eighth, the Captains failed to capitalize on a one out single by second baseman Robel Garcia in the bottom of the inning as Sabourin lined out and Hankins struck out swinging.
Cook closed the ninth by getting Caminero to pop up and Segovia to ground out to short before shortstop Jake Hager popped up to first for the third out. Cook finished the night with 2.1 innings of shut out work and allowed one hit, one walk and had two strikeouts.
The Captains sent the top of the order to the plate in the ninth, but Rodriguez grounded out to short and Lindor was thrown out during a bunt attempt for the first two outs.
Then same late inning drama kicked in.
Monsalve reached first on a walk before Lavisky drove a ball deep to the left field warning track that was caught by Caminero, but home plate umpire Fernando Rodriguez called catcher’s interference to put Monsalve on second and Lavisky on first. However, the Captains failed to take advantage of the error as Myles flew out to right to end the evening.
Lake County manager David Wallace was pleased with Roberts’ start, making note of Roberts’ admirable presence on the mound.
“The thing that’s impressive about [Roberts] is his composure on the mound,” Wallace said. “He’s got a lot of experience under his belt and you can just see it from the first time you meet him.”
When asked about the base running blunders, Wallace made it clear that they cannot be taken lightly.
“It’s definitely a concern,” Wallace said. “It’s a concern in that every time we seem to get a rally going offensively, we’re shooting ourselves in the foot with our base running mistakes. The good thing about it is that we can control it and we can work on it and get better at it.”
Roberts was pleased with his start, despite the opponent’s early scoring.
“I threw some good curveballs and I threw some good cutters when I got ahead in the count,” Roberts said. “I showed my changeup just enough to keep them off balance and I think the key for me tonight was I kept my fastball down and was able to get a good amount of groundballs.”
Roberts gave much of the credit to opposing pitcher Parker Markel.
“The defense played really well behind me,” Roberts noted. “We just couldn’t put enough runs on the board, but that’s what happens when you face another good pitcher.”
Lake County and Bowling Green continue their series on Saturday in an early 1:00 p.m. game. Right-hander Joe Colon is expected to start for the Captains against Hot Rods lefty Ryan Carpenter.
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.