Captains fall short against Lugnuts
LANSING, MI - The Lansing Lugnuts (37-14) used another big inning to beat the Lake County Captains (25-26) for the third consecutive game, 10-9. Lansing outscored Lake County 37-21 in the four game series.
It was a left-handed starting matchup for the series finale with the Captains sending Elvis Araujo to face David Rollins for Lansing.
Lansing scored two runs in the first inning. Second baseman Jon Berti walked and advanced to second on a balk by Araujo. Catcher Carlos Perez singled to put runners on the corners with no outs. After a popout, Araujo threw a wild pitch allowing Berti to score. A one out single moved Perez to third. Catcher Alex Lavisky allowed a passed ball, scoring Perez. Lansing scored 10 runs in the first inning throughout the series.
Lake County batted around in the second inning and scored five runs. Right fielder Jordan Smith hit his third homerun of the year, a solo shot, to lead off the inning. Lavisky walked and left fielder Jordan Casas singled to advance Lavisky to second. First baseman Leonardo Castillo laced a double to left field, bringing home Lavisky and Casas. Second baseman Robel Garcia scored Castillo with a RBI double of his own. Garcia scored on a fielding error by Lugnuts’ third baseman Andy Burns, one of two errors in the inning.
Rollins’ day was finished after 1.2 innings. Eric Brown came in to relieve Rollins and struck out Smith to end the inning. Rollins allowed five runs (four earned) on four hits. He walked one batter and struck out three.
Lansing gained one run back in the bottom half of the frame. Perez scored Berti from first base on a RBI double.
Lake County added two more runs in the third inning. Lavisky led off with a walk. He stole second on a Casas strikeout and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Castillo drove in Lavisky with a single, his third RBI of the game. Third baseman Todd Hankins singled home Castillo to make it a 7-2 game.
Brown’s night was finished following Hankins’ RBI. Aleson Escalante (1-0, 1.74) replaced Brown with two outs in the third. Brown surrendered two earned runs on three hits in one inning of work. He walked one and struck out two batters. Escalante picked up the win, throwing 3.2 innings of shutout ball, allowing two hits and striking out two.
Lansing made it a 7-5 game in the bottom half of the third. Burns doubled to left field to start the inning. Centerfielder Kenny Wilson scored Burns with a single up the middle. Wilson stole second base and moved to third on Araujo’s second wild pitch of the game. Designated hitter Markus Brisker had an infield single to bring home Wilson.
Araujo was done after three innings of work. He allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits. He walked two and struck out two. He also had a balk and two wild pitches.
Luis DeJesus, a 11th round draft pick in the 2011 draft, made his Captains debut in the fourth inning. DeJesus is a 6’3” 175 pound right-hander from Angelina College (Texas).
DeJesus (0-1, 15.00 ERA) had a forgettable fourth inning. Perez walked with one out and scored on a triple by right fielder Chris Hawkins. Burns walked and left fielder Kevin Pillar singled home Hawkins. First baseman K.C. Hobson launched his fourth homerun of the year, a three run bomb to right field. Lansing led 10-7 going to the fifth inning.
DeJesus finished his three innings of work, allowing five runs on four hits. He walked three and struck out two. He was hung with the loss in the game. Manuel Carmona pitched the seventh inning, allowing only one hit.
Lake County made it a one run game in the eighth off of Lugnuts’ reliever Brandon Berl. With one out, Lake County loaded the bases with two singles and an error. Smith grounded out to third, allowing Hankins to score. Lavisky singled home shortstop Francisco Lindor. Berl allowed two unearned runs on three hits in 1.2 innings. He struck out one batter.
Jeff Johnson struck out three batters in the eighth inning to hold Lansing to a 10-9 lead.
Ajay Meyer pitched a perfect ninth inning to record his 18th save of the year.
The Captains pounded out 12 hits in the game. Castillo led the way with a 3-5 game, driving in three runs. Every player had at least one hit.
Lake County returns home to Classic Park for a six game homestand starting on Wednesday night. The West Michigan Whitecaps will open a three game series with first pitch set for 7:00 PM. The pitching matchup is a rematch from last Friday night. West Michigan will send RHP Tommy Collier (2-4, 3.04 ERA) to face RHP Joe Colon (5-4, 2.93 ERA) for the Captains.
Tyler, a sports management student at Lake Erie College, can be found on Twitter @tstotsky63.