Sterling pounded by the Whitecaps, 16-4
COMSTOCK PARK, MI - The West Michigan Whitecaps (21-25) rudely welcomed the Lake County Captains (22-23) to Fifth Third Field for a three game series on Wednesday night, giving the Captains a 16-4 loss.
The Captains scored three runs in the first inning to give Felix Sterling (2-3, 4.89 ERA) the early lead. Left fielder Todd Hankins lead off the game with a single to right field and then shortstop Francisco Lindor moved him to third on a single. Whitecaps’ starter Wilsen Palacios (4-3, 4.47 ERA) threw a wild pitch to allow Hankins to score. Right fielder Jordan Smith drove in Lindor with a RBI single. Catcher Alex Monsalve reached on a fielder’s choice and scored on a single by first baseman Jerrud Sabourin.
Sterling allowed four runs in the bottom of the first inning. Shortstop Eugenio Suarez was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a wild pitch. Designated hitter Dean Green singled to score Suarez. Catcher Curt Casali walked and first baseman Aaron Westlake took the lead with a three run homerun, his fourth homerun of the year.
The Whitecaps continued to pound Sterling in the second inning. Left fielder Jeff Holm and centerfielder Jason Krizan coaxed back to back walks to start the inning. Sterling’s second wild pitch of the night moved runners to second and third and Suarez was hit for the second time to load the bases. Right fielder Steven Moya grounded into a force out, allowing Holm to score. Green drove in Krizan, his second RBI single of the night. Casali launched the second three run homerun of the night, his fourth of the year, putting West Michigan up 9-3 after two innings of play.
Sterling loaded the bases with two walks and a single. Reliever Mason Radeke replaced Sterling with one out in the third. Suarez hit a two run double to centerfield, Moya added his second RBI of the night, a double. Green drove in two more runs with a single, his third hit of the game. Third baseman Jason King doubled to score Green to end the scoring in the inning.
Sterling, took the loss allowing twelve runs (all earned) on only five hits. He walked five and struck out one. He also hit two batters and had two wild pitches.
Ramon Lebron replaced Palacios in the sixth inning. Palacios allowed three runs (all in first inning) on eight hits. He surrendered one walk and struck out three batters. He picked the win in the ballgame.
Manuel Carmona relieved Radeke in the sixth inning. Radeke pitched 2.2 innings, surrendering three runs on six hits. He struck out one. He allowed all three inherited runners from Sterling to score.
Lebron allowed two hits and one walk in his two innings of work. He struck out three batters. Lefthander Jade Todd came in for the eighth inning. Todd gave up one hit and one walk in his one inning.
Carmona allowed a RBI single to Krizan in the eighth inning. Francisco Valera relieved Carmona following Krizan’s at bat.
Carmona pitched 2.1 innings of work, giving up one run on four hits. He walked two and struck out two. Valera struck out the only two batters he faced following Carmona.
Lake County added a run in the ninth inning off of reliever Daniel Bennett. Monsalve drove in Lindor with a sacrifice fly.
Bennett allowed one run on two hits. He allowed one walk and two strikeouts.
The Captains pounded out 13 hits. Smith led the way with three hits. Hankins, Luigi Rodriguez and Jordan Casas had two apiece. Smith, Monsalve and Sabourin all had RBI’s on the night.
The Captains and Whitecaps will resume the three game series on Thursday night at 6:35 PM. The Captains will send LHP Elvis Araujo (1-4, 2.40 ERA) to battle RHP Marcelo Carreno for the Whitecaps.
Tyler, a sports management student at Lake Erie College, can be found on Twitter @tstotsky63.