LumberKings lay the wood on Captains 13-7
LeVon Washington records five hits in loss
EASTLAKE – The Lake County Captains fell to the Clinton LumberKings 13-7 Saturday despite LeVon Washington’s bid for a major comeback with five hits on the day.
Both teams scored a pair in the first inning. Right fielder Gaby Guerrero started the spark for the LumberKings with a two-out single to center and designated hitter Patrick Kivlehan followed with a double that scored Guerrero and left fielder Guillermo Pimentel, who reached on a force play.
The Captains responded in their half as centerfielder LeVon Washington led the day off with a single to center and advanced to third on a bad pick-off attempt. Shortstop Dorssys Paulino singled to right to plate Washington and Paulino scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of left fielder Luigi Rodriguez to tie the game.
Catcher Jeremy Lucas drew a one-out walk in the second inning and scored as Washington racked his second hit of the day with a single to center.
The teams went back-and-forth again in the fourth as first baseman Taylor Ard and shortstop Ketel Marte laced back-to-back singles and centerfielder Jabari Henry drew a walk to load the bags. With two outs, second baseman Tim Lopes doubled to plate two more before Henry was caught in a rundown attempting to score.
Michael Peoples entered the game to start the sixth for the Captains, ending Baker’s outing with five innings pitched, allowing four runs on eight hits, three walks and three strikeouts.
Shortstop Ketel Marte reached on an error by Peoples and advanced to second on a single by Henry. With two out, Guerrero singled to center to score Marte and give the LumberKings the 5-3 lead.
The Captains also gained a run in the sixth as Rodriguez drew a walk and scored as first baseman Nellie Rodriguez singled down the left field line.
Lake County knocked Anderson from the game in the seventh after third baseman Leonardo Castillo hit a one-out double to right. Anderson, whose final line was 6.1 innings, surrendering five runs on six hits, three walks and three strikeouts, was replaced with Oliver Garcia. Washington greeted Garcia with another single to score Castillo and advanced on a throwing error by Guerrero in right. A groundout by Paulino pushed Washington to third and a passed ball brought Washington home, giving the Captains the 6-5.
Felix Sterling had another rough outing in the eighth as he relinquished two more runs to the LumberKings. The ninth inning was the tipping point as Clinton scored six runs, three attributed to Sterling and three off of Louis Head, though none of the final three were earned.
The Captains added one more in the ninth as Washington sent his fifth hit of the afternoon down the right field line and scored on a double by Luigi Rodriguez. That was all the damage the Captains could commit as reliever Grady Wood recorded a strike to end the game, preserving the LumberKings with the 13-7 win.
Captains’ manager Scooter Tucker noted the day belonged to Washington, who went 5-for-5 with two RBIs and three runs scored. Washington recently returned after suffering a hamstring injury that left him out for several weeks.
“He was obviously sidelined there for a while, so it was nice to see him out swinging the bat well,” Tucker said. “He ran the bases well too, so that was a good sign also.”
Tucker noted Washington’s running game play an influential factor in the results of the game, as Washington managed to keep Clinton pitchers over-thinking.
“They speed up their pick-off to first, they speed up their delivery to home, a lot of times pitch a different sequence,” Tucker explained. “There’s a lot of ways that guys that run can distract the pitcher and his game plan.”
Washington said he knew he was prepared to rake on Saturday as his game plan worked in his favor and left him feeling confident.
“Today, I knew I was going to come out swinging at that first pitch,” Washington explained. “I haven’t seen a lot of pitching at the plate that much so after that first pitch, I felt really good and knew I was going to have a good day today.”
Saturday’s loss puts the Captains at a 6-16 overall record and makes them 0-6 in series finales this season. On Sunday, the Captains host the Kane County Cougars for a three-game series. First, the Captains send righty Luis DeJesus (0-2, 5.85) to the bump to counter Kane County righty Felix Pena (0-0, 2.60).
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.