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Captains Log: Another Series Sweep For Captains, Now 6-0

April 14, 2010
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The Low-A Lake County Captains continued their impressive start by sweeping a three game series from the South Bend Silver Hawks, the Arizona Diamondbacks affiliate. With the sweep, Lake County now sits alone on top of the Midwest League’s Eastern Division with a 6-0 record.

The Captains’ success has been based on timely hitting and a strong bullpen coming from behind in four games this season, including two against South Bend.. Overall, the Captains lead the Midwest League in team batting average (.286) with 13 doubles, 1 triple, 4 home runs, and an OPS of .787. Four regulars are batting .300 or above, with LF Bo Greenwell leading the way with a .400 BA/1.000 OPS with 2 doubles and 5 RBI’s. Greenwell also leads the team with 8 runs scored. 3B Jeremie Tice, who spent much of 2009 on the Captains’ disabled list is off to a great start batting .360 with 4 doubles, 8 RBI and an .890 OPS. SS Kyle Smith (.313, 1 HR, 1 RBI, .950 OPS) and RF Greg Folgia (.300, 2 HR, .975) round out the group. Catcher Roberto Perez barely misses joining this list, with a .294 BA and .890 OPS.

The team has also shown some speed as their 13 stolen bases rank them second in the league, one behind league leader Bowling Green. Greenwell leads the team in this category as well with 5, being caught once. OF Delvi Cid has stolen 4 bases and INF Argenis Martinez has swiped 3.

Infielder Casey Frawley came alive against South Bend, after not playing at all in the opening series against West Michigan. In the three games in Indiana he banged out 7 hits and scored 5 runs for a .538 BA and .1.100 OPS. On the flip side, OF Delvi Cid (.174 BA/.426 OPS) and INF Argenis Martinez (.176 BA/.510 OPS) are off to slow starts, with Martinez striking out 6 times in 17 at bats.

In the first two victories against South Bend, the bullpen was superb, surrendering only one unearned run in 9 innings of work. RH Austin Adams, last year’s fifth round pick out of Faulkner University in Alabama, got a save on Sunday pitching four scoreless innings. Chris Jones and Matt Packer also had outstanding outings in South Bend.

So far this season, the Captains have seen excellent work from the bullpen, led by Francisco Jimenez (2-0, 5.1 IP, 1 BB, 4 SO, 0.38 WHIP, 0.00 ERA) and Chris Jones (1-0, 5 IP, 1 BB, 8 SO, 0.60 WHIP, 0.00 ERA). RH Cory Burns who closed last year at Mahoning Valley has taken over that role with the Captains and has earned 3 saves in 3 opportunities with a 2.70 ERA in 3.1innings pitched so far this season. He had another Bob Wickman-type save on Monday, but followed that with a one-two-three ninth on Tuesday.

RH Rob Bryson, coming back from a year and half of injuries had the only difficult relief outing of the season. After an excellent outing on Friday (2 IP, 1 hit, 0 BB, 3 SO), he ran into trouble on Tuesday against South Bend. Bryson inherited a 4-3 lead and in two-thirds of an inning gave up 3 hits, one homer, two runs (both earned) while walking one and striking out one. He blew the save and left with Lake County down 5-4. Jimenez and Burns held the Silver Hawks scoreless for the rest of the game, with Jimenez getting the win when the Captains scored 3 runs in the 9th to win 7-5.

Marty Popham, Clayton Cook and Trey Haley started the games in Indiana, although only Popham earned a win. That’s not unusual as strict pitch counts often prevent starters from going the required 5 innings, especially this early in the season. Haley (0-0, 6.00 ERA, 9 IP, 6 ER, 1HR, 1 BB, 3 SO) had another shaky start on Tuesday, going 6 innings, giving up 3 runs (all earned) and 9 hits. The Indians drafted the right hander in the second round of 2008 as a 17 year old, and consider him a top, if raw, prospect.

The Captains head to Lansing for a three game series against the Lugnuts starting today before returning home on Saturday.

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