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LumberKings axe Captains, win 3-2

Clinton takes series opener over Lake County

LumberKings axe Captains, win 3-2
LeVon Washington (Photo: Lianna Holub)
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EASTLAKE – The Clinton LumberKings axed the Lake County Captains in the first of a three-game series as the Captains fell 3-2 on Thursday evening.

Righty Mitch Brown (1-1, 11.17) received the start for the Captains to counter Clinton right-hander Victor Sanchez (0-0, 0.00), who just joined the LumberKings on Tuesday.

Brown got off to a bit of an erratic start as he walked the lead-off batter, centerfielder Jabari Henry, who advanced to second on a wild pitch. Henry reached third on a groundout and scored on another wild pitch to give Clinton the 1-0 lead.

The Captains’ offense crafted a quick comeback as center fielder LeVon Washington led off with a double off the center field wall. With two out, second baseman Joe Sever singled to left to score Washington. Catcher Eric Haase popped a shallow fly into right, which right fielder Gaby Guerrero (nephew of Vladmir Guerrero) mishandled, allowing Sever to score.

The LumberKings leveled the score in the fourth as left fielder Dario Pizzano laced a one-out single to right and stole second. Catcher Tyler Marlette followed with a single to right and Pizzano scored on another wild pitch to tie the game.

Brown was replaced with righty Josh Martin to start the fifth inning, ending Brown’s day with four innings pitched, surrendering two runs on four hits, four walks and six strikeouts.

Jordy Lara, who entered the game in the third inning to replace Guillermo Pimentel, broke the tie in the eighth inning with a solo shot to left that just grazed the foul pole to give the LumberKings the lead again. Other than the home run, Martin pitched well through four innings, relinquishing just the one run on one hit while striking out two. Martin gave way to Felix Sterling in the ninth inning. Sterling had a much better outing from his previous appearances as he allowed just one hit and struck out one in the inning.

The Captains couldn’t craft a comeback off of Clinton relief pitchers Matthew Vedo and Blake Hauser, who tossed a combined three innings of scoreless ball, allowing just one hit apiece.  

Despite a one-out single off the bat of third baseman Erik Gonzalez in the ninth, the Captains faltered  as first baseman Leonardo Castillo tapped into a game-ending double-play.

Captains’ manager Scooter Tucker acknowledged Martin’s impressive outing, despite one pitch that lost the game.

“Obviously we had some opportunities we didn’t take advantage of, but I felt Josh pitched extremely well,” Tucker said.

Tucker also said Washington is keeping to an on-off day schedule as he returns from the disabled list. Washington tweaked a hamstring muscle during the first game of the season earlier this month and hit 1-for-3 on Thursday through seven innings of scheduled play. Tucker was encouraged by Washington’s play.

“He seems to be moving fine, he has no problems,” Tucker said.

Next, the Captains turn to righty Jake Sisco (0-2, 1.72) to face Clinton left-hander Tyler Pike (1-2, 1.93) in the second game on series Friday. Pike was the Mariners’ third-round pick of the 2013 draft, taken out of Winter Haven High School.

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.

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