Lindor-less Lake County lacks offense in 9-2 loss
BOWLING GREEN- The Lake County Captains (8-8) made the long bus ride from Comstock Park, MI. to Bowling Green, KY. after defeating the West Michigan Whitecaps 9-2 Friday night. The team knew it would be traveling without shortstop Francisco Lindor, who instead went to Kansas City to take part in the Futures Game Sunday: 5:00 P.M.). Unfortunately, the Captains also forgot their bats on the ride south.
This fact became apparent around 8 pm on Saturday night when Lake County took the field to begin a three game set with the Bowling Green Hot Rods (9-7). The Captains could only muster two hits on the evening, falling to Bowling Green by a final score of 4-2.
Lake County could not get anything going offensively against Hot Rod starting pitcher Ryan Carpenter (8-4, 3.51). The 18th ranked prospect in the Tampa Bay Rays’ organization tossed six innings, giving up just one hit while walking two and striking out a pair.
The lone Captain to notch a base knock against the left hander was shortstop Jose Ramirez, who led off the contest with a single to center field. In 13 games since being called up from Mahoning Valley, Ramirez is now batting .345. After second baseman Todd Hankins walked, Carpenter escaped the first inning jam by picking Ramirez off of second base and getting the next two Lake County hitters to fly out.
Right hander Mason Radeke (5-3, 3.23) made his second start of the season for Lake County. After his team was held scoreless to open the ballgame, Radeke could not keep the game scoreless for long. The second batter he faced, Bowling Green shortstop Jake Hager, lined a double to left field. The right hander then attempted to match his counterpart by picking off Hager, but was treated to less-than-stellar results. Instead, his throw wound up in center field, allowing Hager to advance to third. He was later driven in on a sacrifice fly.
The Hot Rods were back at it in the bottom of the second inning, using back-to-back doubles to put another tally on the board. After a wild pitch by Radeke, second baseman Ryan Brett, ranked as the 13th best prospect in the Rays’ organization, hit an RBI single to right field. The second baseman’s 23rd RBI of the year put Bowling Green ahead 3-0.
Radeke seemed to settle down after two rough innings to open the ballgame. The Santa Barbara, CA. native threw five innings, surrendering three runs on six hits. He walked one and fanned a pair of Hot Rod hitters.
The Captains did not threaten again offensively until the top of the eighth inning, this time against Hot Rod reliever Andrew Bellatti. Lake County, attempting to respond to Bowling Green scoring its fourth run of the game in the bottom of the seventh, mounted a two out rally after third baseman Leonardo Castillo was hit by a pitch and Ramirez walked. The second hit of the day for the Captains, a single to left field by Hankins, loaded the bases. However, Bellatti was able to strike out center fielder Luigi Rodriguez swinging to end the threat. It was the second swing-and-miss of the game and 84th of the campaign for the Lake County outfielder.
The way Saturday night’s game went, it is not surprising that the Captains scored their only two runs of the contest without the benefit of a base hit. Hot Rod reliever Charlie Cononie replaced Bellatti to begin the ninth inning and promptly walked catcher Jake Lowery, who then stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. After first baseman Jerrud Sabourin reached first on the second consecutive base-on-balls, Cononie again struggled to command his pitches, allowing Lowery to score on another wild pitch.
A groundout by left fielder Bryson Myles advanced Sabourin to third and another groundout by designated hitter Alex Lavisky scored Lake County’s second run of the night. Lavisky’s 31st RBI of the season was not enough for the Captains as Castillo grounded out to his counterpart at third to cap off the losing effort.
Lake County will attempt to rediscover its bats on Sunday night for the second game of the three game series with Bowling Green. The contest is slated to begin at 6:05 pm. The Captains will send left-hander Elvis Araujo (3-6, 4.54) to the mound and the Hot Rods will counter with Tampa Bay’s 14th-ranked prospect Parker Markel (3-5, 5.01).