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Captains split doubleheader with Loons

Offense scores 11 runs in game one before faltering in second contest

Captains split doubleheader with Loons
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MIDLAND – The Lake County Captains snagged the first game of a double-header against the Great Lakes Loons on Saturday afternoon, as the offense produced an 11-7 victory.

Captains’ offense struggled in a 9-4 loss against the Loons in Game Two.

Both games scheduled for Saturday were shortened to seven innings as a make-up from a series of rain-outs the second week of the season.

Mitch Brown (1-1, 11.17) looked for his first win for the Captains as he has struggled in his first few starts of the season. The Loons turned to right-hander Zachary Bird (0-0, 5.06).

The Captains struck first in the second inning on two outs as third baseman Erik Gonzalez doubled to left and scored on a single by right fielder Logan Vick.

Great Lakes’ rebuttal came immediately when designated hitter Tyler Ogle drew a one-out walk. Ogle advanced all the way to third on a pick-off attempt and scored on a single by catcher Eric Smith to level the score at 1-1.

Two more crossed the dish in the Loons’ share of the third as second baseman Alexis Aguilar started with a double to center and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. Shortstop Corey Seager followed with a triple into the left field corner to score Aguilar, and a two-out double by Ogle scored Seager.

The Captains scored in three-straight innings starting in the fourth. They plated two as first baseman Nellie Rodriguez and Vick singled and scored on a double by left fielder Jorge Martinez. That ended the day for Bird, who was replaced with reliever Arismendy Ozoria.

Three scored in the fifth inning as Rodriguez reached on a force play and Gonzalez drew a walk. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch, but Vick drew another walk to load the bases. One run trotted home as Martinez walked, and Gonzalez and Vick scored on a throwing error by Aguilar.

The offense exploded for both teams in the sixth inning, but Lake County got the best of the Loons. Catcher Eric Haase doubled and scored on a single by Rodriguez, which ended the day for Ozoria. Gregg Downing entered the game to pitch for the Loons, but Captains had Downing’s number as well. Designated hitter Leonardo Castilloreached on a throwing error and Downing loaded the bases as he walked Gonzalez to juice the bags. Downing forced in a run as Vick drew another walk before Martinez unloaded on a pitch to left for a three-run double, giving the Captains the 11-3 lead.

The Loons tried to catch up in their half of the sixth as Brown surrendered a lead-off double and walk before giving way to reliever Louis Head. Brown’s final line posted at five innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on five hits, four walks and four strikeouts. The two runners were added to Brown’s line as Head yielded a pair of singles. With one out, a passed ball allowed one to score before a Head committed a throwing error to bring home one more Loon. As Aguilar tapped into a groundout, the fourth and final run on the inning crossed the plate.

Both teams managed to get a runner aboard in their halves of the seventh, but couldn’t capitalize on them, ending the game at a final score of 11-7 in Lake County’s favor.

In the second game, the Captains got on the board first as they scored one in the first inning. Shortstop Dorssys Paulino led laced a one-out single to right and scored after a pair of wild pitches from Sanchez.

The Loons’ offense had bigger things in mind for their half of the first as designated hitter Tyle Ogle drew a two-out walk to start the rally. Third baseman Paul Hoenecke and left fielder Pat Stover hit a pair of back-to-back singles to score Ogle, and an infield single by catcher Dashenko Ricado loaded the bases for first baseman Jesus Valdez, who doubled to score three. After another walk, centerfielder James Baldwin doubled to empty the bags and end the day for Morel. Morel’s final line posted at 0.2 innings, allowing six runs on five hits, two walks and one strike out.

Morel was relieved by Nick Pasquale, who managed to record the third out to stop the bleeding.

Great Lakes added another in the second inning as right fielder Jeremy Rathjen was plunked with a pitch and scored on a Stover’s second single of the day, giving the Loons the 7-1 advantage.

The Captains tried for two more in the fifth as left fielder Aaron Siliga led off with a single and catcher Martin Cervenka reached on a force attempt throwing error that allowed Siliga to advance to third. With Captains on the corners, second baseman Robel Garcia grounded out to bring Siliga home. Cervenka, who advanced to third on the play, scored on a wild pitch to bring the Captains closer at 7-3.

Lake County managed one more in the sixth when first baseman Nellie Rodriguez singled to center and scored as designated hitter Joe Sever doubled deep to right.

Meanwhile, Pasquale settled in to silence the Loons. Pasquale went 4.1 innings, surrendering just one run on two hits while striking out five.

Pasquale departed in the seventh inning for Josh Martin. Second baseman Malcolm Holland greeted Martin with a lead-off walk and swiped second. Cue Baldwin, who sent his third home run of the season deep to right, boosting the Loons to the 9-4 lead.

Martin settled in to convert all three outs, but the Captains could not craft a comeback in the seventh and final inning of the shortened game.

Next, the Captains and Loons will square off in another double-header on Sunday.

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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