Mistakes in ninth give Dayton the win, 5-3
EASTLAKE- the Lake County Captains (31-38) ended the first half of the regular season with a heartbreaking loss to the Dayton Dragons (30-40) on Sunday in front of a Father’s Day crowd of 3,701.
Lefthander Shawn Morimando started for the Captains and allowed two runs in the first inning. Third baseman Junior Arias lined a double over the head of left fielder Luigi Rodriguez and advanced to third on a groundout. Designated hitter Joe Terry hit his second homerun of the year to deep center field.
Morimando ran into trouble in the fourth inning and surrendered an additional run. Right fielder Kyle Waldrop singled and advanced to second on a single by first baseman Sean Buckley. Waldrop was thrown out at third on a double steal attempt. Catcher Nick O’Shea lined a double over the head of third baseman Nick Bartolone to score Buckley.
Dragons’ starter Stalin Gerson allowed one baserunner off a walk through four innings. Lake County got on the board with back to back homeruns. Designated hitter Alex Monsalve lined a 1-0 pitch just over the left-center field fence. Catcher Alex Lavisky hit a bomb on the ninth pitch of the at-bat deep into the left field play area. Lake County pulled within a run after five innings.
The Captains tied the game in the sixth inning. Shortstop Francisco Lindor was hit by a Gerson pitch. Lindor advanced to third on a hit and run by the first baseman Jerrud Sabourin. Monsalve lined a one out double to right field, scoring Lindor.
Felix Sterling came on in the seventh inning to replace Morimando. Morimando pitched a season high six innings, allowing three runs on eight hits. He walked two and struck out two. Sterling, normally a starter but was only getting work in prior to the all-star break. He came in and threw a perfect seventh inning.
Gerson pitched six innings, allowing three runs on five hits. He walked one and retired four batters via the strikeout. James Allen replaced Gerson in the seventh inning. Allen threw two perfect innings, walking two batters.
Cole Cook relieved Sterling in the eighth inning. Cook threw a perfect eighth inning but the Captains’ defense did not help him in the ninth inning.
Second baseman Ryan Wright hit a ground ball to Bartolone. He rushed to throw Wright out but threw the ball past Sabourin. Wright advanced to second on the error. Dayton got major help from the Captains while playing small ball. Left fielder Juan Silva sacrifice bunted a ball to the third base side of the mound. Cook picked up the ball and threw it down the right field line, allowing Wright to score. Waldrop completed the sacrifice bunt to move Silva to third base. Cook brought home Silva with his second wild pitch of the year. Lake County had three errors in ninth inning.
The Captains came up in the bottom of the ninth inning down 5-3. Second baseman Robel Garcia reached on a single. Bartolone came to the plate as the tying run. He grounded into the game ending 4-3 double play.
Cook took the loss, pitching two innings. He allowed two runs (all unearned) on one hit. He struck out one.
Carlos Contreras pitched a scoreless ninth inning to pick up his seventh save of the year.
Manager Dave Wallace spoke about the first half after the game. “It flew by, that is a testament to our guys. They have done exactly what we have asked them to do. In the second half, we will continue to do the same thing.”
The Captains only had six hits on the day. Monsalve had a 2-3 day with two RBI’s. Garcia also added two hits of his own.
The Captains will have four days off for the All-Star break. RHP Cody Anderson, RHP Joe Colon and SS Francisco Lindor will represent the Captains in Kane County on Tuesday. The next game for Lake County is on Friday at Fort Wayne.
Tyler, a sports management student at Lake Erie College, can be found on Twitter @tstotsky63.