Captains Fall 6-3 Despite Homers From Lindor, Lavisky
EASTLAKE- The Lake County Captains (25-21) had their three game winning streak snapped by the Great Lakes Loons (21-25) on Thursday night when they fell by a count of 6-3.
Lake County starter Shawn Morimando (5-4, 3.73) struggled to retire the Loons in just 4.2 innings. The left-hander surrendered four runs on seven hits while walking three hitters and striking out just one.
Great Lakes got out to an early start off of Morimando scoring two runs in the first inning after the first two hitters were retired. The Loons’ designated hitter, O’Koyea Dickson, smashed a home run over the right-center field fence to put Great Lakes on the board. Morimando then walked right fielder Nick Akins on four pitches. Akins came around to score when catcher Pratt Maynard doubled past the diving Luigi Rodriguez to push the lead to 2-0.
The Captains struck back in their half of the frame against Great Lakes starter Greg Wilborn (2-1, 4.23). Second baseman Jose Ramirez opened with a bunt single down the third base line and promptly stole his tenth base of the season. Francisco Lindor then sent a ground ball down the first base line that got hung up under the padding near the Captains bullpen. Akins raised his arms as if to signal dead ball at first, but as Lindor continued to round the bases, the right fielder panicked, picking the ball up and heaving it towards the infield. By the time the ball struck the dirt, Lindor had already touched home plate and entered the first base dugout for an inside-the-park home run. The inside-the-parker was the shortstop’s sixth home run of the season.
The game remained tied until the top of the fourth inning when Great Lakes tacked on two additional tallies to increase the lead to 4-2.
The Loons added two additional runs off of Lake County reliever Nick Pasquale in the sixth inning. The right-handed reliever had previously been brilliant in his time with the Captains, surrendering just one run in ten innings since joining the team from Mahoning Valley.
On Thursday night, however, Pasquale allowed a leadoff single to first baseman Jesse Bosnik. The St. Bonaventure product then came around to score when third baseman Jeff Hunt smacked a double down the left field line. After a walk and a fielder’s choice, the Loons pushed their sixth and final run across the dish on an RBI single by leadoff hitter Darnell Sweeney.
Lake County could not get anything started offensively against Wilborn. Despite six walks from the Great Lakes left-hander, the Captains could not score another run. Wilborn did not surrender another hit after the three he allowed in the first inning in six innings of work.
Wilborn was relieved by Joel Lima, who was given a not-so-kind greeting by Lake County catcher Alex Lavisky. The Lakewood, OH native. who had walked in his previous two plate appearances, sent a 1-0 fastball over the left field bleachers for a solo home run. It was the ninth blast of the campaign for Lavisky, whose home run cleared the Classic Chevrolet $250 sign, meaning that the catcher split the pot with a lucky fan on the evening.
“I am still trying to figure my swing out,” said the catcher of his progression. “It is something you have to work on every day.”
On the day, Lavisky finished 1-1 with three walks and threw out Loons center field James Baldwin from behind the dish. It was just the fifth time Baldwin has been caught attempting to swipe a bag this year, as opposed to 43 successful tries.
"I feel that I am light years ahead of where I was last year,” said Lavisky. “It is getting a lot more fun being out there every day.”
Manager Dave Wallace, who has seen Lavisky for the better part of two seasons after managing him at Mahoning Valley last year, has also seen growth in the young catcher of late.
“He is staying on the ball better,” said Wallace. “His home runs are a result of his approach being up the middle [over to] right field.”
Although Lavisky shares time behind the dish with the Indians fourth round selection in the 2011 Draft, Jake Lowery, Wallace, a former catcher himself, also believes that the product of St. Edwards High School has come a long way as a defensive catcher.
“He has always had the intangibles, leadership, and energy we look for in a catcher,” said Wallace. “However, he has come a long way in calling his own game.”
Wallace noted that ever since he was a catcher in the Indians organization managers have let catchers call their own games.
The Captains will conclude their current seven game homestand by trying to take the rubber match of the series with Great Lakes. The game is slated to begin at 7:00 pm. Lake County will hand the pill to left-hander Danny Jimenez (1-1, 4.32) and the Loons will counter with right-hander Duke von Schamann (2-3, 2.93).