Errors Plague Captains in 10-3 Loss
(Lansing, MI) - The Lake County Captains (29-19) committed a season-high five errors on Saturday night and in a 10-3 loss to the Lansing Lugnuts (20-27) at Cooley Law School Stadium.
Lansing scored its first run in the second without the benefit of an error. With two outs and the bases empty, Tanner Kirwer hit a grounder to the shortstop hole that went under Tyler Freeman's glove for an infield single. After Luis De Los Santos singled to put men on the corners, the Lugnuts pulled off a classic Little League play to score the game's first run. With Rafael Lantigua batting, De Los Santos broke for second and got caught in a rundown long enough for Kirwer to score from third and give the Lugnuts a 1-0 lead.
The Captains quickly tied the score in the bottom of the third. Hosea Nelson led off the frame and ripped a line drive that hit the top of the right field wall and bounced over for a solo homer to even the score at 1-1.
The tie did not last long. Lansing regained the lead with another two-out rally in the bottom of the third. Hunter Steinmetz singled and stole second, and Nick Podkul worked a walk against Captains starter Cody Morris to put men on first and second with two outs. Jake Brodt came up next and hit a grounder to Jesse Berardi at third. Berardi went to step on third, but changed his mind when he saw that Steinmetz was going to beat him to the bag. Berardi then threw to second, but Podkul beat the throw and the Lugnuts had the bases loaded. Ryan Gold made the Captains pay with a two-run single that scored both Steinmetz and Podkul to give Lansing a 3-1 lead.
Heading into the fifth inning, the Captains had committed two errors without being burned, but Lake County's third error came back to bite them and helped Lansing take a 4-1 lead. Reggie Pruitt led off against Captains reliever Eli Lingos and roped a line drive to left field that bounced past Nelson and rolled to the wall. Pruitt made it all the way to third on a single and a two-base error. Lingos struck out the next two men, but could not get out of the inning. Brodt smoked a line drive to third and Berardi made a diving stop, but could not catch the ball cleanly. Pruitt scored on the infield single.
Lansing starter Josh Hiatt kept the Captains' bats in check over the first five innings, but Lake County attacked reliever Troy Watson in the sixth. Quentin Holmes led off with a double to left-center and Jose Fermin shot a double down the right field line that scored Holmes. After Freeman singled to put men on the corners, Will Benson hit a grounder to second base and the Lugnuts tried to turn two, but Benson beat the throw to first. Fermin scored from third to cut Lansing's lead to 4-3.
The Lugnuts quickly responded with a crooked number in the sixth. Kirwer started the inning with a one-out bunt single, De Los Santos followed with a single and Lingos walked Lantigua to load the bases. Lingos then issued a walk to Pruitt that brought home Kirwer and Steinmetz hit a sacrifice fly to right that brought home De Los Santos. The Captains called on Luis Araujo to reliever Lingos, but Podkul greeted him with a two-run double down the left field line that scored Lantigua and Pruitt, capping a four-run inning that stretched Lansing's lead to 8-3.
Lansing capitalized on the Captains' fifth and final error to score two more runs in the eighth. With two outs, Podkul doubled again and Brodt followed with a tall pop up down the right field line. Benson charged toward the line to make the play, but over-ran the baseball and it fell in the outfield grass. The two-base error scored Podkul and Gold followed with an RBI double to extend Lansing's lead to 10-3.
Hiatt (1-1) earned his first professional victory, holding Lake County to one run on two hits over five innings of work. He struck out a career-high eight batters and walked one.
Morris (2-1) took the loss for the Captains. He gave up three runs over four innings. Morris surrendered six hits, walked one and struck out five.
The Captains have split the first two games of a four-game series in Lansing and are 5-2 on their road trip. Lake County and Lansing square off again on Sunday afternoon. First pitch at Cooley Law School Stadium is scheduled for 1:05 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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