EASTLAKE- The Lake County Captains (5-4, 36-42) used an offensive attack and great pitching to defeat the West Michigan Whitecaps (5-4, 41-38) on Saturday night to win the series, 7-4.
Righthander Cody Anderson started for the Captains and allowed a run in the first inning. Leftfielder Chad Wright lined a one out triple into the gap in right-center field. Third baseman Edgar Corcino drove home Wright with a single for his first RBI of the season.
Lake County scored three runs right out of the gap off of Whitecaps' starter Marcelo Carreno (3-5, 3.62). Second baseman Jose Ramirez singled to open the inning. He stole second base and advanced to third on a groundout. Rightfielder Jordan Smith singled home Ramirez to tie the ballgame. Catcher Alex Monsalve hit his sixth homerun of the year, a two run shot to left-center field.
West Michigan got a run back in the second inning. Catcher Zach Maggard hit his first homer of the year to deep left field to the cut to 3-2.
Left fielder Jordan Casas was hit by a pitch with one out in the second inning. Ramirez lined a double to centerfield to advance Casas to third base. Shortstop Francisco Lindor hit a deep fly ball to center field to score Casas and move Ramirez to third base. Ramirez was stranded as the next batter struck out swinging.
Reliever Antwonie Hubbard (1-0, 3.00 ERA) came in for the fourth inning. Anderson left after three innings due to his innings limit set by the Indians staff. He allowed two runs on four hits, He did not walk a batter and struck out three batters.
Maggard singled to leadoff the fifth inning. He advanced to second on a wild pitch. Shortstop Jared Reaves singled to put runners on the corners with no outs. Maggard scored on a sacrifice fly to left field by Wright.
With one out in the fifth, Smith dropped a bloop double into left field. The shortstop attempted to catch the ball on the run but could not complete it. Monsalve shot a line drive through the right side, Smith scored with a head first slide to home plate. Lake County loaded the bases with two outs but could not muster another run across the plate.
Manuel Carmona came into pitch for Lake County in the sixth inning to replace Hubbard. Hubbard pitched two innings, allowing one run on two hits. He got his first win in over two years. He allowed one walk and struck out two.
West Michigan cut the lead to 5-4 in the sixth inning. First baseman Aaron Westlake lined a double to right field. Designated hitter Lance Durham singled home Westlake for his twelfth RBI of the year.
Closer Jeff Johnson relieved Carmona in the eighth inning. Carmona allowed one run on two hits in two innings of work.
The Captains padded their lead with two runs in the eighth inning. Leftfielder Jordan Casas singled to second base, and advanced to second on a throwing error. Ramirez singled for his fifth hit of the night, moving Casas to third base. Lindor reached on a fielding error by the first baseman. Casas and Ramirez scored on the play.
Johnson finished the game, picking up his twelfth save of the year. He threw two scoreless innings, only giving up one hit and one walk. He struck out one batter.
Cerreno took the loss, surrendering four runs on seven hits in four innings. He retired four via the strikeout. Warwick Saupold allowed one run on five hits in 1.1 innings of relief. Melvin Mercedes threw 2.2 innings of relief, giving up two runs (one earned) on three hits.
The Captains had 15 hits on the night and was led by Ramirez who had a 5-5 game. Smith, Monsalve, Sabourin and Casas each added two hits each.
Ramirez spoke about his 5-5 game in the leadoff spot with Lino Diaz, Cultural Development Coordinator, as his translator. “I like being the leadoff hitter because I like to see pitches and I always try to get an extra base. I have had 4-4 games, but never a 5-5 game in my career.”
Manager Dave Wallace also spoke about Ramirez's time in the leadoff spot and his ability to get on base, “ He loves to see pitches and he is a tough out always, but actually tonight, he couldn't get out.”
Lake County will open a three game series with the Fort Wayne Tincaps on Sunday night at 7:05 PM. LHP Shawn Morimando (2-1, 3.67) is scheduled to start for the Captains and face RHP Matt Wisler (2-4, 2.74) for the Tincaps.
Tyler, a sports management student at Lake Erie College, can be found on Twitter @tstotsky63.