Captains drop home opener 5-2 to Hot Rods
EASTLAKE - The Lake County Captains opened the 2012 home schedule with their third consecutive loss in front of 4,388 fans at Classic Park, losing 5-2 to the Bowling Green Hot Rods.
The Hot Rods jumped out to an early lead against lefthander Elvis Araujo when designated hitter Jeff Malm hit a solo homerun to right field, his first of the year.
In the top of the third inning, Hot Rods' right fielder Drew Vettleson singled home third baseman Tyler Goeddel who reached with a double. The Hot Rods led 2-0 after three innings.
The Hot Rods took advantage of a Captains’error in the fifth inning. Shortstop Juniel Querecuto reached on a fielding error by Araujo. Goeddel beat out a groundball to third base to reach base. Querecuto stole third and Goeddel stole second on a double steal. Catcher Alex Lavisky threw the ball into left field while attempting to throw out Querecuto. Querecuto scored and Goeddel moved to third. Second baseman Ryan Brett scored Goeddel with a sacrifice fly to right field to make it 4-0 through five innings.
Araujo (0-2, 3.00 ERA) went five innings giving up four runs (two earned) on four hits. He struck out seven and did not walk a batter.
"He did a great job tonight, but he had a few mistakes," Captains manager Dave Wallace said about Araujo. "He was not scared of contact. He pitched for contact.”
For Bowling Green, left hander Felipe Rivero (2-0, 0.00 ERA) pitched six shutout innings, giving up four hits. Rivero struck out three and did not walk anyone. Right hander Andrew Bellatti followed Rivero to the mound with two shutout innings, allowing one hit and striking out three.
Bowling Green added a run in the top of the ninth off of new Captains pitcher, right-hander Jeff Johnson. Catcher Alejandro Segovia laced a two out triple past centerfielder Luigi Rodriguez. Querecuto hit a bloop single over Captains shortstop Francisco Lindor to score Segovia. Johnson pitched one inning, giving up one run on two hits and he struck out two.
The Captains started a rally in the bottom of the ninth. Shortstop Francisco Lindor singled up the middle to lead off the inning. Designated hitter Alex Monsalve singled to put runners on first and second with no outs, and then Lavisky lined a double down the left field line to score Lindor. Right fielder Bryson Myles grounded out to the pitcher and then third baseman Leonardo Castillo grounded out to the second baseman, scoring Monsalve. The second baseman Robel Garcia was hit by a pitch from right hander Charlie Cononie, but with first baseman Jerrud Sabourin up at the plate representing the tying run he struck out swinging.
Cononie gave up three hits, two earned runs and struck out one in his only inning of work.
"We had a couple chances throughout the game," Wallace said. "You have to give Bowling Green credit for keeping us off-balance all night. We shot ourselves in the foot with some baserunning mistakes."
Lindor was 3-for-4 with two singles and a double. When Wallace was asked about Lindor’s first home game in front of Lake County fans, he said, "He did fairly well. He won’t go 3-for-4 every night but he has been great since he has showed up, he has great work ethic.”
Lavisky added two doubles to go 2-for-4 with one RBI to raise his average to .389 on the young season.
The Captains failed to have at least ten hits for the first time in five games. The top five hitters in the lineup were the only batters to reach base except for Sabourin, who reached on a walk in the eighth.
The Captains will play game two of four on Friday night. The pitching matchup is scheduled to be right hander Will Roberts (1-0, 2.50 ERA) against right hander Parker Markel (0-0, 6.75) for the Hot Rods. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 PM at Classic Park.
Tyler, a sports management student at Lake Erie College, can be found on Twitter @tstotsky63.