Captains fall just short with 9th inning rally
MIDLAND, MI - The Lake County Captains dropped the second game of their three-game series against the Great Lakes Loons on Tuesday night, 5-4.
The Captains jumped on the board first as leadoff hitter center fielder LeVon Washington reached base on a bunt single and advanced to second on a throwing error by Great Lakes third baseman Jesse Bosnik. Washington moved to third on a groundout by shortstop Francisco Lindor and scored when designated hitter Alex Monsalve sent a single to right. Great Lakes starting pitcher Arismendy Ozoria managed to escape the remainder of the inning unscathed as he struck out right fielder Jordan Smith and got third baseman Leonardo Castillo to ground out.
Starting for Lake County was right-hander Kyle Blair, a 23-year-old in his second season with the Captains. Blair breezed through the first inning giving up only a single to first baseman Joseph Winker.
The Captains tacked another run to the board in the top of the second. Second baseman Robel Garcia led off the inning with fly ball double deep to center and reached third on a throwing error by center fielder James Baldwin. Garcia would go on to score on a sacrifice fly off the bat of catcher Alex Lavisky.
The first hiccup for Blair occurred in the home half of the second inning as Blair relinquished back-to-back singles to left fielder Noel Cuevas and designated hitter Kevin Taylor. Blair managed to ring up shortstop Justin Boudreaux, but Bosnik laced a double to right to score both runners; however, Blair was able to impede any further damage by getting back-to-back strikeouts on catcher Jan Vazquez and Baldwin.
Blair’s final inning of the night was the fourth, where he surrendered another two runs to the Loons. Blair walked Taylor, who scored on a two-run home run to right off the bat of Bosnik.
Meanwhile, Ozorio sailed through the third and fourth innings, tossing two hitless innings until the fifth, where Lavisky led off with a double. After a wild pitch that pushed him to third, Lavisky scored on an RBI groundout off the bat of first baseman Jerrud Sabourin.
That ended the night for Ozorio, who left the game with an aggravated blister on his pitching hand. Ozorio was replaced with righty Juan Noriega, 21-year-old out of Mexico. Noriega put a stop to the Captains rally by getting Washington to line out to left and Lindor to groundout to second.
In the bottom of the fifth Cody Anderson replaced Blair. Anderson is a 21-year-old righty who spent last season with Mahoning Valley, and was promptly greeted with a single off the bat of second baseman Jesus Alberto Arredondo. Arredondo would go on to swipe second base after first baseman Joseph Winker struck out, and Arredondo advanced to third on a wild pitch. Right fielder Scott Schelber brought Arredondo home on a sacrifice fly.
The home half of the sixth inning became the Alex Lavisky show as Kevin Taylor led off with a walk. With Boudreaux batting, Lavisky gunned down Taylor who attempted to steal second base. After Boudreaux lined out to second, Bosnik gained his third hit of the night by singling to left. Bosnik managed to steal second, but was gunned down trying to steal third on Lavisky to end the inning.
Anderson dealt the ball well through the remainder of the game, striking out three Loons in the seventh and two in the eighth. Anderson ended the night for the Captains with four innings pitched, giving up three hits, two walks and a run while striking out seven batters.
The Captains made one final try for some runs in the top of the ninth off of pitcher Yimi Garcia. With two out, Washington singled to left and Lindor sent a triple deep to center to score Washington. However, Monsalve grounded out to short to end the night, leaving the Captains down 5-4.
The Captains close out their series with Great Lakes on Wednesday at 2:05 p.m. before heading home to Lake County to kick off the first home series of the season versus Bowling Green on Thursday.
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.