Captains get burned with late run by Dragons
EASTLAKE – The Lake County Captains failed to ignite much offense on Fireworks Night on Friday as they fell to the Dayton Dragons in a 5-4 loss.
Left-hander Shawn Morimando took the bump for the Captains for his second start of the season. The 19-year-old held the Dragons to no hits through three innings until Dayton drew first blood in the fourth.
In their half of the fourth, Dragons shortstop Brandon Dailey and third baseman Junior Arias led off with back-to-back singles. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch and scored as second baseman Ryan Wright singled to center, giving the Dragons a 2-0 lead. After first baseman Sean Buckley drew a walk, left fielder Juan Silva bunted into a force out where Wright was thrown out at third. With two outs, designated hitter Kyle Waldrop singled to left to plate Buckley, boosting the Dragons’ lead to three.
Dayton struck again in the fifth inning as centerfielder Theo Bowe laced a single to left to lead off. Dailey followed with a double to push Bowe to third. Bowe went on to score on a fielding error by Captains’ third baseman Leonardo Castillo.
Right-hander Cole Cook entered in the sixth to replace Morimando, whose night ended with a line of five innings pitched, relinquishing six hits, four runs (all earned) and one walk while striking out two.
The Captains finally got on the board in their half of the sixth as righty Ryan Kemp replaced Dayton starter Stalin Gerson (1-3, 5.40). Catcher Alex Lavisky led off with a double to left and first baseman Jerrud Sabourin followed with an RBI single to score Lavisky.
Lake County crafted a good inning in the seventh when centerfielder Luigi Rodriguez started with a single to center. Dailey had the first of two errors as he booted a ground ball, allowing left fielder Jordan Casas to reach base. With one out, right fielder Jordan Smith singled to right to plate Rodriguez. That ended the night for Kemp as Kyle McMyne came in to complete the inning for Dayton. McMyne tossed a wild pitch that advanced both runners and designated hitter Alex Monsalve, who reached on a fielder’s choice, scored on Dailey’s second error of the inning. Second baseman Todd Hankins joined the offensive parade as he singled to third, scoring Smith.
Dayton responded in the eighth after Cook’s night ended with two innings pitched, surrendering two hits while fanning two. Cook was replaced with Francisco Valera, who was greeted with a lead-off double by left fielder Juan Silva. A wild pitch by Valera pushed Silva to third and right fielder Steve Selsky picked up an RBI as he plated Silva on a sacrifice fly, increasing the Dragons’ lead to 5-4.
That was all the Dragons needed as Brooks Pinckard came in to close out the ninth for Dayton. Lavisky attempted to ignite a rally as he doubled with one out for his third hit of the night, but the remainder of the Captains line-up couldn’t bring him in as the evening closed with a 5-4 Dayton victory.
The Captains’ posted 12 hits across the board, but few of those hits came when it counted as they were 3-for-20 with runners in scoring position and left 12 runners on base. Alex Lavisky, however, constructed a successful evening at the dish.
Lavisky, who struggled on the road after a hot early-season start, has hit 6-for-16 through his last four games with one home run. On Friday, he hit 3-for-5 with two doubles and a run scored.
“We didn’t have those clutch two-out hits we really needed to win the game,” Lavisky said. “We had a lot of good at bats. We were right there; we were one or two hits away with two outs from taking the lead, but you’ll have days like that.”
Lavisky also noted the team’s increase in confidence since their early-season struggles.
“The younger guys are starting to settle down a little bit,” he said. “Everyone I think got off to a little bit of a slow start being uncomfortable and not really knowing the surroundings. Being a bit younger, it took a little while to settle in and now that everyone’s settled in, it feels like we should win a game every night.”
Next, the Captains will host the Great Lakes Loons (20-15) in a four-game series. Felix Sterling (1-1, 3.03) is scheduled to start for the Captains on Saturday against Great Lakes’ lefty Jarret Martin (2-1, 2.63).
Saturday’s start time has been moved from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.
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.