Captains drop series opener in South Bend 5-1
BY ANDREW LUFTGLASS
On (South Bend, IN) – Game one in South Bend did not go how the Lake County Captains had hoped. The South Bend Cubs downed the Captains in the series opener at Four Winds Field on Thursday night, 5-1.
Cubs starter Preston Morrison held the Captains’ bats virtually silent. The right-hander set career marks in innings pitched and strikeouts, with nine punch-outs over seven shutout innings. Lake County only managed five hits against Morrison (6-3) who earned his second win against the Captains.
The Captains had their best opportunity to score in the first inning, but let it slip away. Lake County loaded the bases three batters into the game on a walk by Nathan Lukes, a sharp single by Willi Castro and dribbler single down the third base line by Tyler Krieger. Morrison got the Cubs out of the jam, though. The right-hander struck out the next two batters and Martin Cervenka hit a hard line drive to the gap in right-center field, but Donnie Dewees ran it down for the final out of the inning.
South Bend’s offense responded to Morrison’s goal line stand by providing the starter with a run in the bottom of the first inning. P.J. Higgins doubled and Eloy Jimenez singled him home to give the Cubs an early 1-0 lead.
The 1-0 score held until the fifth inning, when a costly Captains error allowed the Cubs to get an insurance run. Captains starter Casey Shane retired the first two men on ground outs and induced another grounder with two outs, but third baseman Yonathan Mendoza bobbled the ball and then sailed a throw high over first base. The double error put Carlos Sepulveda on second base and Higgins knocked him in to make the score 2-0, Cubs.
South Bend added three runs against Lake County reliever Jared Robinson. Jimenez doubled to lead off the sixth and Tyler Alamo drove him in with a single. Bryant Flete then plated a pair of runs with a two-out single in the eighth inning to give South Bend a 5-0 advantage.
The Captains rallied in the ninth inning, but could not come all the way back. Connor Marabell led off the inning with a triple against reliever Pedro Araujo and scored on a Cervenka ground out. Anthony Miller followed with a double and Mendoza walked to bring the tying run to the on deck circle. A wild pitch moved Miller to third and Mendoza advanced to second on defensive indifference, but that was as close as the Captains came to another run. Araujo struck out Bobby Ison and got Nathan Lukes to fly out to deep right to end the game. Araujo picked up his first save.
Shane (5-4) suffered a tough-luck loss. The Lake County starter allowed only one earned run and one unearned run over five innings. He struck out two and walked two.
The Captains face South Bend again on Friday night at Four Winds Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:35 p.m. ET. If the Captains can win the final three games of the first half, they will guarantee themselves a playoff berth. Lake County is 1.5 games behind the West Michigan Whitecaps for the Wild Card and 2.5 games behind South Bend for first place.
Individual game tickets are on sale at the Classic Park box office, online at captainsbaseball.com and by phone at 440-954-WINS (9467). 12-, 20-, and 35-game mini ticket plans for the 2016 season are on sale now at great prices complete with several exclusive benefits. Information can be found at the Captains website www.captainsbaseball.com
POSTED 06/16/2016 23:34