Captains swept out of Lansing, 7-1
LANSING – The Lansing Lugnuts sent the Lake County Captains packing after a three-game sweep as Lake County failed to overcome a rough start by Cody Anderson and a trio of errors in a 7-1 loss.
Starting for the Captains was All-Star Cody Anderson (4-3, 2.91) against Lansing’s Justin Nicolino (2-0, 1.47). This time, though, Anderson struggled to keep the Lugnuts from stealing an early lead.
The Lugnuts jumped all over the Captains immediately in the first as leadoff hitter centerfielder Kenny Wilson reached base on a throwing error by Captains shortstop Francisco Lindor. Wilson went on to steal second and after catcher Carlos Perez drew a walk, right fielder Chris Hawkins doubled to left to score Wilson.
Still with no outs, left fielder Kevin Pillar singled to plate Perez and stole second base during the following at-bat. With one out, first baseman K.C. Hobson singled and scored Pillar and designated hitter Kevin Patterson drew another walk. Third baseman Gustavo Pierre grounded into a force out and stole second before shortstop Shane Opitz doubled deep to center to score both runners, giving Lansing a 6-0 lead.
Meanwhile, Nicolino kept the Captains off the board as he threw four solid innings and surrendered just two hits and four walks while striking out six. Nicolino was pulled for the fifth and replaced with Aaron Sanchez.
The Lugnuts were not finished in the fifth as Hobson tacked on an insurance run with a solo home run, which ended the evening for Anderson. Anderson’s start ended after 4.2 innings pitched, during which he allowed seven runs (four earned) on seven hits and three walks.
The Captains finally pushed a run across the dish in their half of the sixth as third baseman Todd Hankins led off with a walk. With one out, catcher Alex Monsalve doubled to right and designated hitter Alex Lavisky picked up an RBI with a groundout that scored Hankins.
As Grant Sides tossed two scoreless innings of relief for Lake County, the Captains put runners on in both the seventh and eighth innings, but failed to execute any big hits to add to the score.
Lake County closer Jeff Johnson entered the game in the eighth for some work, where he pitched a scoreless 1.1 innings, but the Captains couldn’t piece together a rally in the ninth as Aleson Escalante shut the door to preserve Lansing’s 7-1 victory.
Lindor hit 2-for-5 for the Captains after a recent slump that causes his average to dip into the .270 range. Collectively, though, the Captains faltered again in situational hitting as they were 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left 14 men on base.
Next, the Captains head home to Eastlake to host the South Bend Silver Hawks for a three-game series. With Monday’s loss, the Captains sit 15 games behind the first place Lugnuts.
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.