BY TIMOTHY W. SHIRER SPORTS EDITOR (EASTLAKE, OH) - The Lake County Captains began the 2012 season with a record of 4-13 and a 0-7 opening home stand. Only a month later the Captains have achieved what seemed impossible in the middle of April and reached the .500 mark (19-19) on Tuesday with their 4-1 win over the Great Lake Loons at Classic Park.
The Captains entered the season with the youngest team in the Midwest League at 20 years and 8 month average age. That same young team has grown leaps and bounds since the middle of April. Since May 1st the Captains are 11-3 and have won seven of their last eight games and improved to 9-10 at home recovering from the disastrous first home stand to go 9-3 at Classic Park since.
Cody Anderson was on the mound for Lake County and was once again brilliant. Anderson went six scoreless innings, giving up only two hits, issuing one base on balls and striking out five Loons to earn the win. With the win Anderson improves to 4-1 with a 1.89 ERA. Anderson has allowed only four runs, three earned in his last 29 innings pitched. In the 29 innings he has struck out 26 batters and allowed only seven base on balls.
The game was scoreless for the first five and a half innings until the Captains offense came alive scoring two runs in the bottom the sixth. The inning began when Great Lakes starter Gustavo Gomez hit Captains first baseman Jerrud Sabourin with a pitch. He then got Leonardo Castillo to ground out and Sabourin moved to second base. Gomez then stuck out Luigi Rodriguez. Loon’s manager John Shoemaker then made a strategic move and intentionally walked Francisco Lindor to put men on first and second. The move backfired when Alex Monsalve came up and belted a single to center field and Sabourin scored. On the single by Monsalve the second baseman made an errant throw home and Lindor also crossed the plate giving the Captains the 2-0 lead after six innings.
The Captains added two more runs in the seventh inning. The inning included a double by Luigi Rodriguez and a RBI single by Lindor. Lindor leads the Captains with 46 hits.
The Loons picked up their only run of the game in the ninth inning when Joe Winker hit his fourth home run of the season on to the roof of the indoor batting cage. The home run was the only blemish of the day for Captains reliever Cole Cook pitched three nice innings for the rare three inning save. The save was Cook’s second of the season.
Loon’s starter Gomez was tagged with the loss, he falls to 4-2 with a 3.66 ERA.
With the win the Captains complete the four game sweep of the Loons. It is the first the Captains have ever swept the Loons in a four game series.
With the win the Captains move to within two games of the wild card spot in the Midwest League's Eastern Division.
The Captains will now head to South Bend to play the Silver Hawks in a three games series starting Wednesday night at 7:05. Shawn Morimando will make the start for Lake County he is 0-0 with a 6.00 ERA. South Bend will counter with Jesse Darrah on the mound. Darrah is 3-1 with a 3.48 ERA. email@example.com or follow Timon Twitter @TimothyShirer