CEDAR RAPIDS – A late-inning rally effort fell short for the Lake County Captains as they could not overcome the Cedar Rapids Kernals on Saturday night, resulting in a 4-3 loss.
All-Star right-hander Cody Anderson (4-5, 3.43) graced the mound for the Captains against Cedar Rapids righty Dan Reynolds (0-3, 2.85).
Both starters tossed zeroes across the board through three innings. Anderson was locked in as he allowed just one hit and a walk through his three innings of work before giving way to Danny Jimenez, a lefty who recently joined the Captains after spending time in the Arizona league.
Second baseman Alex Yarbrough greeted Jimenez with a leadoff double in the fourth inning and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. With one out, left fielder Gary Mitchell reached on a ground ball that was misplayed by Jose Ramirez at second, allowing Yarbrough to score. First baseman Matt Scioscia and catcher Abel Baker followed with a pair of back-to-back singles to plate Mitchell and Scioscia scored on another single off the bat of third baseman Trevor Hairgrove, giving Cedar Rapids the 3-0 lead.
The Captains responded in the top of the fifth inning as catcher Jake Lowery celebrated his 22nd birthday with a home run to right, putting Lake County on the board 3-1.
After that, Reynolds returned to his groove as he finished through the sixth inning, posting a final line of 6.1 innings pitched, surrendering three runs on five hits and a walk.
The Kernals kept rolling in their half of the sixth as Mitchell led off with a double and scored on a wild pitch, advancing Cedar Rapids to a 4-1 lead.
Lake County sailed back in the top of the seventh inning as right fielder Jordan Smith and first baseman Jerrud Sabourin laced a pair of singles. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch and Smith scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of designated hitter Luigi Rodriguez. Centerfielder Bryson Myles continued the inning with a single to score Sabourin, and that ended the evening for Reynolds, solidifying his line at 6.1 innings pitched, yielding three runs on five hits and a walk. Reynolds was replaced with Carmine Giardina, who managed to impede the Captains from scoring any further.
The Captains crafted all the makings for a rally in the ninth inning as they loaded the bases on Kernals’ pitcher R.J. Alvarez, but Lake County couldn’t come through as they left them loaded to seal Cedar Rapids’ 4-3 victory.
Next, the Captains and Kernals play game two of their three-game series on Sunday. Felix Sterling (3-8, 6.21) will surface from the Lake County bullpen to start against Cedar Rapids’ lefty Aaron Meade (2-1, 3.30).
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.