Lake County leaps past Lansing
EASTLAKE, OH- The Lake County Captains (29-24, 60-62) took the lead in the bottom of the eighth inning and held onto a 3-2 lead over the Lansing Lugnuts (28-24, 75-46) on Saturday night in front of a crowd of 7,162 people.
Lake County took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Second baseman Jose Ramirez singled and advanced to second on a balk by Lugnuts’ starting pitcher Anthony DeSclafani. With one out, right fielder Jordan Smith singled home Ramirez. Smith has 64 RBI’s on the year.
The Captains added a run in the bottom of the third inning. Lindor and Smith led off the inning with back-to-back singles. First baseman Jerrud Sabourin grounded into a 5-4-3 double play, scoring Lindor. The Captains led 2-0 after three innings.
DeSclafani threw four innings to begin the game for Lansing. He allowed two runs on six hits. He gave up three walks and struck out four. Right-hander Shawn Griffith came in to relieve DeSclafani for the fifth inning.
Lansing tied the ballgame at 2 in the sixth inning. Right fielder Nick Baligod and third baseman Gustavo Pierre had back-to-back singles. First baseman K.C Hobson grounded into a force out a third base. Third baseman Yhoxian Medina threw the ball past first base after the force-out, allowing Pierre to score. Hobson moved to second on the error. Designated hitter Kevin Patterson followed with a double to left-center field, plating Hobson.
Elvis Araujo was taken out of the game after the double. Cody Penny (2-0, 1.35 ERA) came in and retired the last two batters. Araujo allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits in five and one third innings. He struck out a season high eight batters.
“Elvis had his best start of the year, it was a great performance. He worked ahead, and stayed aggressive with hitters. He was able to locate his fastball and his breaking ball was working,” said manager Dave Wallace on Araujo’s outing.
Griffith threw three shutout innings in relief for the Lugnuts. Reliever Casey Beck (0-1, 0.00) came on for the eighth inning.
Lake County took the lead in the bottom of the eighth inning. Centerfielder Luigi Rodriguez walked with one out. After a flyout, Rodriguez stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by the catcher. With Medina at the plate, Beck threw a ball past the catcher allowing Rodriguez to score the winning run.
Closer Enosil Tejeda relieved Penny for the ninth inning. Penny threw two and two thirds innings of shutout ball, picking up the win and allowing just one hit.
Lansing had a prime shot of tying the game in the ninth. Centerfielder Michael Crouse reached second base on an error by left fielder Bryson Myles. Myles lost the ball in the lights, with the ball dropping a few feet from him. Left fielder Kip Schultz was hit by a pitch. Second baseman Chris Peters attempted a sacrifice bunt but he popped the ball up to Tejeda. Crouse was caught stealing third base as the tying run. Shortstop Shane Opitz grounded out to first, with Sabourin diving to tag the runner at first base.
Tejeda picked up his fifth save of the year with a scoreless ninth.
Beck picked up the loss, allowing one run on no hits. He walked one and struck out one. He also threw one wild pitch.
The Captains had seven hits on the night. Smith put up two hits, raising his average to .313 on the year. Medina had the only extra base hit, a double in the second inning.
The Captains and Lugnuts will resume the four game series on Sunday afternoon. RHP Cody Anderson (4-6. 3.18) will take the mound for his 22nd start of the year for Lake County. RHP Blake McFarland (5-3, 4.59) will make his sixth start of the year for Lansing. First pitch is set for 1:00 PM from Classic Park.
Tyler, a sports management student at Lake Erie College, can be found on Twitter @tstotsky63.