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Captains inch closer to playoffs with 7-2 win

Captains inch closer to playoffs with 7-2 win
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EASTLAKE – The Lake County Captains took the first of a three-game series against the Bowling Green Hot Rods with a 7-2 win on Wednesday, due to another long ball from Alex Lavisky and another solid relief effort from Nick Pasquale.

Right-handed All-Star Cody Anderson (4-7, 3.30) took the bump for the Captains to counter Bowling Green lefty Ryan Carpenter (11-7, 4.13).

Anderson tossed his standard three innings of scoreless ball to start for the Captains as he allowed just one base runner, who reached as he was plunked by a pitch in the helmet to start the game. Anderson settled in to retire the side before he was replaced with right-hander Nick Pasquale to start the fourth.

Carpenter also tossed several innings of scoreless ball until the sixth, where the Captains tacked on a pair of runs. With one out, second baseman Jose Ramirez drew a walk before right fielder Jordan Smith singled. Cue first baseman Jerrud Sabourin, who tripled to right to plate both runners for a total of 63 RBIs on the year.

Carpenter was replaced by Jason Wilson to start the seventh inning, ending the starter's evening with six innings pitched, surrendering two runs on four hits and one walk as he fanned five.

The Captains greeted Wilson by plating two more on two outs as centerfielder Zach MacPhee singled to center and third baseman Yhoxian Medina drew a walk. Second baseman Jose Ramirez sent his third triple of the year deep over the centerfielder's head to pick up two more RBIs and give the Captains the 4-0 lead.

The Hot Rods finally drove in a run during the eighth as first baseman Cameron Seitzer led off with a single into left. Pasquale finally surrendered his first free of the season with the Captains as he walked left fielder Taylor Motter. Centerfielder Kes Carter capitalized on the opportunity with a single to left to score Seitzer, putting Bowling Green on the board down 4-1.

The Captains kept rolling through the eighth as Smith laced his second hit of the night when he beat out a ground ball to short. After stealing second, Smith advanced to third on a fly ball to right off the bat of Sabourin before scoring on a sacrifice fly from left fielder Bryson Myles. Catcher Alex Lavisky took out an insurance policy as he smacked a two-run shot over the left field wall for his 12th long ball of the season to advance the Captains to the 7-1 lead.

Bowling Green tried to keep things interesting as Louis Head came in to pitch the ninth for the Captains. Right fielder Drew Vettleson led off the inning with his 15th home run of the season, but Head regrouped to convert all three outs and preserve the Captains' 7-2 win.

With Wednesday's victory, the Captains take sole possession of second place in the Eastern Division of the Midwest League as they advance to an overall record of 35-29.

Captains' manager David Wallace was pleased with his team's resiliency after a tough road trip.

"We didn't play as well as we wanted to in Great Lakes," Wallace said, "But we're still in good position to play longer and our guys continue to do everything that we ask and that's what our main concern is."

Wallace was also happy with Pasquale's outing, noting that Pasquale's command has been imperative. "That's what we've been impressed with in all the guys who have come up," Wallace said. "They're strike throwers. That's the most important thing over stuff, over velocity, any of that. He throws strikes. If you don't throw strikes, you don't give yourself the chance to get guys out and as you can see in his stats, he throws strikes, makes guys swing and lets our defense do their job."

Next, the Captains hope lefty Shawn Morimando (6-6, 3.76) will also throw strikes as his he'll receive the start on Thursday. Left-hander Sean Bierman (1-0, 1.80) will toe the rubber for the Hot Rods.

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.

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