EASTLAKE – The Lake County Captains were washed away by the Fort Wayne TinCaps 4-0 in a six-inning game cut short due to the rain on Sunday.
Left-hander Shawn Morimando (2-1, 3.67) took the bump for the Captains after receiving a no decision in his last start in Dayton. From the other dugout, righty Matt Wisler (2-4, 2.74) started for the TinCaps after receiving a loss in his last decision.
With storm clouds rolling in, the TinCaps sought the lead in the third inning as shortstop Tyler Stubblefield and second baseman Felix Cabrera laced a pair of back-to-back singles. With one out, Stubblefield scored on a groundout off the bat of designated hitter Jace Peterson, giving Fort Wayne the 1-0 lead.
The TinCaps tacked on three more in the sixth inning as Peterson led off with a walk and advanced to third as left fielder Mike Gallic singled and Captains’ centerfielder Luigi Rodriguez bobbled the ball out in center. Peterson went on to score on a sacrifice fly off the bat of right fielder Yeison Asencio and Gallic went on to steal second before first baseman Travis Whitemore sent his fourth home run of the season over the right field wall to give the TinCaps the 4-0 lead.
Meanwhile, Wisler locked in and dealt the Captains a handful of zeros through six innings, permitting just two hits while striking out six.
At precisely 8:27 p.m., the looming storm clouds rolled in over Classic Park and released the rain. The Classic Park grounds crew battled the winds and rain to sustain the tarp, which became the source of entertainment for both fans and Captains players.
With the tarp in place, Captains’ infielder Nick Bartolone surfaced from the Lake County locker room and slid across the tarp amidst cheers from the fans. Bartolone was joined by teammates Luigi Rodriguez, Cody Anderson and Elvis Araujo. Anderson and Araujo raced across the tarp in a battle of the starting pitchers. Standing at 6’6”, Araujo had the edge, though Bartolone took the award for most distance.
The game was called a half hour later as the rain subsided, but the field held too much rain to continue. After six innings, the TinCaps received the official 4-0 win.
Captains’ manager David Wallace was pleased to see his team having fun on the tarp, despite the moody weather.
“I probably prefer them not to,” he said. “But at that age, you’ve got to give them one good tarp slide in their career. Bartolone looked like he was getting some pretty good distance.”
Wallace also noted the rapid pace of the storm that came through.
“I’ve never seen anything like it, even outside of baseball,” he said. “The way those clouds and that storm rolled in, that was pretty intense. You see the power of weather very quickly and how insignificant we are.”
Bartolone said that was his first tarp slide and he felt that he owed it to the fans that had come out for the game.
“I had to do it,” he said. “They were cheering me on.”
The Captains and the TinCaps square off again on Monday evening as right-hander Mason Radeke (5-1, 2.96) will take the mound for his first start of the season for the Captains against Fort Wayne’s righty Cody Hebner (6-3, 4.13).
Radeke started one game for AA-Akron this season and replaces Felix Sterling in the starting rotation.
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.