Lake County loses rain-shortened game
EASTLAKE- After five and one half innings of play between the Lake County Captains (25-22) and the Great Lakes Loons (22-25) on Friday night, both teams could only sit and watch as Mother Nature began joined the contest as an uninvited third party.
Great Lakes managed to pull out the rain shortened game by a final tally of 4-3, although the Captains were unable to come to the plate in the sixth and final frame.
The skies opened at 8:42 pm and brought sideways sheets of rain down on an already soaked Classic Park. Although the pop-up storm passed by 9:30 and the grounds crew worked tirelessly to return the infield to playable standards, managers Dave Wallace and John Shoemaker came to the agreement that the precipitation had rendered the outfield unplayable.
The delay, which many of the 4,709 fans in attendance waited out, hoping for a resumption of play with an eye to the post-game fireworks, lasted one hour and 44 minutes before the contest was finally called.
The game itself was outlasted by the rain delay as the two sides only adorned the field for one hour and forty minutes before the rains came. When the game was halted, the Loons were at the dish with one on and two outs in the top of the sixth against Lake County starter Danny Jimenez (1-2, 4.84), who suffered the loss in the contest.
Before the contest was halted by rain, fans at Classic Park were treated to an entertaining rubber match in the series between the Captains and the Loons.
After both starting pitchers navigated the first two innings unscathed, the Loons broke through against Jimenez in the top of the third. Third baseman Jeff Hunt led off the inning with a single to right field. After Jimenez retired one batter, shortstop Darnell Sweeney drove the Captains starter’s delivery over the left center field wall for his fifth home run of the season. The blast put the Loons ahead 2-0.
Great Lakes picked up another tally in the top half of the fourth inning on catcher Pratt Maynard’s 18th double of the campaign.
The Captains struck back in the bottom of the frame with three runs off of Great Lakes’ starter and the eventual winner in the ballgame Duke von Schamann (3-3, 3.18).
Shortstop Francisco Lindor began the inning with a sharp single up the middle. After a Jordan Smith groundout advanced Lindor to second, first baseman Jerrud Sabourin sent a single up the middle that was knocked down by second baseman Pedro Guerrero. Lindor, however, did not stop running and crossed the plate easily for the Captains first run.
Center fielder Luigi Rodriguez followed Sabourin with a single of his own, putting runners on first and second for catcher Jake Lowery. The former James Madison star sent a von Schamann delivery to the wall in center field, plating two, for his third double of the campaign. The catcher’s 14th and 15th RBIs of the year tied the game at 3-3.
Yet, Jimenez and Lowery were unable to hold the lead when the Loons came back to the plate in the top of the fifth. The catalyst once again was Darnell Sweeney, who opened the inning with a bunt single. Sweeney then wasted no time, swiping second and third base off of Jimenez on consecutive pitches. Guerrero then delivered the eventual winning run of the rain shortened ballgame with a sacrifice fly to right field.
With the loss, Lake County finished the seven game home stand with a record of 4-3, even though the Captains dropped two of three to Great Lakes, the second-to-last team in the Midwest League’s Eastern Division.
The Captains now travel to South Bend to begin a six game road trip that begins with three games with the Silver Hawks and concludes with a three game set against the Dayton Dragons.
In the first game of the series, the Captains will rely on Mason Radeke (5-5, 3.67) to return the team to the win column. The Silver Hawks, who currently trail Lake County in the division standings, will counter will left-hander Keith Hessler (1-1, 2.56).