Lavisky carries Lake County to victory
LANSING- In the first game of a Memorial Weekend series on the road against the Lansing Lugnuts (34-14), the Lake County Captains (25-23) were victorious, downing the first-place Lugnuts in a nail-biter 4-3.
Right-hander Cody Anderson started on the hill for the Captains. Anderson took the loss in his last start, which also came against Lansing, giving up two runs in six innings. However, aside from that start, the Quincy, CA native has been dominant, giving the Captains a chance to win each time he toes the rubber.
Yet, in Saturday night’s game, with Anderson struggling (4.2 IP, 8 H, 3ER), battery-mate Alex Lavisky carried Lake County to victory. The catcher from St. Edward’s High School on Cleveland’s westside went 3-4 on the evening and had all 4 Captains’ RBIs. Although he gave up three earned runs, Anderson’s ERA remains a stellar 2.40.
Lavisky delivered the big blow in the top of the 8th inning with the Captains trailing 3-2. With two outs, first baseman Jerrud Sabourin pulled a single into right field, bringing Lavisky to the dish. The Lakewood, Ohio native delivered, driving his third home run of the campaign over the left field wall. The two-run blast came off Lansing reliever Brandon Berl, (2-2, 2.42) who suffered the loss.
Both teams came out on Saturday night with their bats hot. Aaron Sanchez, the number six prospect in the Blue Jays’ organization, started for Lansing and was greeted by an aggressive Lake County lineup. With one out, shortstop Francisco Lindor reached safely on an error by third baseman Kellen Sweeney. He was followed by a single to right by center fielder Luigi Rodriguez. After a groundout by right fielder Jordan Smith advanced the runners to second and third, Sabourin walked, bringing Lavisky to the plate with the bags full. He grounded a single through the hole on the left side of the infield to open up an early 2-0 lead.
Although the runs were unearned, the rally was a rarity off of Sanchez. Coming into Saturday night’s contest, the righty had surrendered just two runs in nine appearances. After pitching three innings in the game, he lowered his ERA to 0.53.
After Sanchez, the task for Lake County did not get any easier, as they had to face Toronto’s number five overall prospect Justin Nicolino. Nicolino gave up three hits over four innings, striking out five Captains’ hitters.
The Lugnuts responded in the bottom of the frame, notching one run off of Anderson. He surrendered a one out double to catcher Carlos Perez, who was then driven in on a single by right fielder Chris Hawkins. It was the 16th RBI of the year for Hawkins.
Lansing picked up single runs in the third and fifth innings. In the third, second baseman Andy Burns hit a run scoring double for his 22nd RBI of the season. In the fifth, Burns got to starter Cody Anderson once again, this time blasting a triple to dead center to score Hawkins.
As it has been for most of the season, the Lake County bullpen was strong in relief. Francisco Valera came on for Anderson, tossing two innings and giving up just two hits. Following him was Cole Cook, (2-1, 4.00) who, in an inning and one third, gave up one hit and struck out a batter. His strong effort earned him his second win of the campaign. Jeff Johnson fanned two batters in the ninth to pick up his ninth save of the season.
Lansing outhit Lake County on the night 12-7, including seven extra-base hits for the Lugnuts. Aside from the Lavisky home run, the Captains could only manage six singles.
The Captains and Lugnuts will resume their series Sunday afternoon in a 2:05 pm start. Shawn Morimando (1-0, 3.32) will toe the rubber for Lake County and will face off against Jesse Hernandez (3-2, 2.09) for Lansing.