Timber Rattlers Top Captains 5-3
EASTLAKE – The Lake County Captains dropped the second of a three-game series against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 5-3 on Thursday morning.
Lefty Shawn Morimando (3-2, 3.90) toed the rubber for the Captains against Wisconsin righty Chad Thompson (3-2, 4.79).
The Timber Rattlers bit first as centerfielder Chadwin Stang led off the game with a double to left and shortstop Yadiel Rivera drew a walk. Both runners advanced on a bad pick-off attempt by Morimando and Stang went on to score on a sacrifice fly off the bat of right fielder Ben McMahan, putting the Timber Rattlers in front 1-0.
Captains’ designated hitter Jordan Smith was ready with a rebuttal in the bottom half of the first. Second baseman Jose Ramirez and centerfielder Luigi Rodriguez drew a pair of walks before Smith stepped up and sent a laser over the right field wall for his fifth home run of the season.
Wisconsin fought back in the second when designated hitter Mike Garza doubled and scored on a single by left fielder Lance Roenicke, putting the Timber Rattlers within one.
Both pitchers settled in to go a full five innings each. Thompson was replaced with Jacob Barnes to start the sixth, finalizing Thompson’s day with three runs allowed on three hits and three walks.
Morimando was also pulled in the sixth for Enosil Tejeda, who was recently called up from Mahoning Valley, where he went 2-0 with a 1.74 ERA. Morimando’s line ended with two runs (one earned) permitted on four hits and four walks while striking out two Timber Rattlers.
Tejeda’s debut with the Captains was not a favorable one as he could not preserve Lake County’s lead in the sixth. Third baseman Brandon Macias led off with a double and scored as McMahan singled to right. First baseman Nick Ramirez followed with another double to plate McMahan and with one out, Roenicke singled in Ramirez, giving Wisconsin the 5-3 lead.
That was enough for Barnes to shut the door on the Captains for the remainder of the game as he tossed four scoreless for Wisconsin, holding the Captains to just four hits and a pair of walks.
Kyle Petter tossed the eighth and ninth for the Captains and put a pair of zeroes across the board, but Lake County could not rally for the win, ending the afternoon with a 5-3 loss.
Lake County manager David Wallace was encouraged by some of his team’s solid defensive plays during the game, but noted some of their miscues on the base paths.
“I’m more concerned of some of the base running mistakes,” he said. “We’ve just been taking ourselves out of potential big scoring innings. The key is that we learn from it and make the adjustment rather keep making the same mistakes.”
Wallace was pleased with Morimando’s outing, noting that the left-hander has thrown well in two straight starts.
“I was happy with what we saw,” Wallace said. “He didn’t have his best stuff out there but he did a good job of damage control in a couple situations. It’s all part of his development.”
Next, the Captains and Timber Rattlers finish their series on Friday evening as Lake County looks to Mason Radeke (5-3, 3.23) to impede Wisconsin from snagging a three-game sweep.
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.