Captains Drop Series Opener to Cubs
(Eastlake, OH) - The Lake County Captains (26-25, 66-54) lost the first game of a three-game series to the South Bend Cubs (28-23, 65-54) on Wednesday night at Classic Park. Clark Scolamiero's solo home run was the Captains' only run in a 6-1 loss.
The Cubs' offense struck quickly against Lake County starter Ethan Hankins. On the fourth pitch of the ballgame, Darius Hill hit a leadoff home run to give South Bend a 1-0 lead.
Hankins rebounded and retired eight hitters in a row following the homer. The Cubs, however, added a run in th fourth. Clayton Daniel led off with a single and Andy Weber followed with a double to put men on second and third. Two batters later, Nelson Velazquez hit a grounder to deep shortstop. Jose Fermin backhanded the ball and threw low to first. Jerez could not pick the bounced throw and Weber took off for third as the ball rolled away, but Jerez fired across the diamond to nab the greedy runner. Daniel scored from third on the play to give the Cubs a 2-0 lead.
Hankins worked a perfect fifth inning and was solid in his Classic Park debut through his first five frames, allowing two runs on four hits with four strikeouts and no walks. In the sixth, however, the right-hander walked Hill and Daniel to begin the frame. After Weber popped out to second, Tim Herrin came in to relieve Hankins. Nelson Maldonado singled to load the bases, but Lake County nearly turned a double play to escape the mess. Velazquez hit a grounder to shortstop. Fermin flipped to Daniel Schneemann at second to force out Maldonado, but Schneemann's throw to first skipped wide. Hill and Daniel scored to push South Bend's lead to 4-0.
Cubs starter Faustino Carrera spun 5.2 scoreless frames, but Scolamiero connected against the Cubs' bullpen in the seventh. Facing right-hander Brendan King with two outs and the bases empty, Scolamiero pulled a fly ball over the right field wall.
South Bend tacked on two more runs in the eighth. Daniel led off with a single and Herrin walked Weber. A wild pitch moved the runners to second and third before Velazquez hit a two-run single. Velazquez's third and fourth RBI of the night gave the Cubs a 6-1 lead.
Carrera (7-6) earned the win. The lefty scattered three hits over 5.2 scoreless frames. He tied a career-high with seven strikeouts and did not issue a walk.
Hankins (0-1) suffered the loss for his first career decision. He pitched 5.1 innings and allowed four runs, three earned, on four hits. Hankins struck out four and walked two.
The Captains face the Cubs in game two of their three-game series on Thursday night. First pitch at Classic Park is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
Individual game tickets for all Captains games are on sale at the Classic Park box office, online at captainsbaseball.com and by phone at 440-954-WINS (9467). Mini ticket plans for the 2019 season are still available for great prices complete with several exclusive benefits. Information can be found at the Captains website www.captainsbaseball.com.
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