The Lake County Captains are off to a good start for the 2019 season and after six games stand on the positive side of a 4-2 record. Beginning the year with a home and away series against Great Lakes, the Captains took the first three games before dropping the finale of the series on Sunday, April 7th 6-0.
Lake County started the season with good pitching performances from both Luis Oviedo in the opener, winning 4-0 and Raymond Burgos who was the winning pitcher in a 6-1 game two victory.
Oviedo pitched five strong innings giving up just 4 hits while striking out 5 and not walking a batter. Aaron Pinto and Dakody Clemmer followed Oviedo and kept Great Lakes off the scoreboard. Quentin Holmes had two hits for the Captains while Ruben Cardenas, Josh Rolette and Marcos Gonzalez drove in a run apiece. Bo Naylor went hitless in two official at bats but did draw two walks in his Class A debut.
Burgos matched Oviedo’s performance by not giving up a run, allowing only two hits, walking one and striking out four in five innings. Zach Draper followed with two scoreless innings and Manuel Alvarez picked up his first save in 1 2/3 innings of relief. Brady Aiken didn’t fair so well giving up the lone Great Lakes run and walking four in just a third of an inning.
Bob Naylor got his first two hits and drove in three runs for the good guys with Jose Fermin, Tyler Freeman and Ulysses Cantu each adding two hits to the cause.
Ruben Cardenas lead the Captains in game three going two for four with three RBI. Cardenas homered in the fifth and drove in two runs with a double in a three run eighth inning. Lake County had six hits for the game.
Thomas Ponticelli (1-0) got the victory in relief of Juan Mota who pitched a solid four innings of one run baseball. Skylar Arias picked up his first save by closing out the game.
Great Lakes took the final game of the series by shutting out the Captains 6-0. Shane McCarthy started and took the loss giving up three runs followed by Eli Lingos who only last one inning and also gave up three runs. Aaron Pinto pitched another good game by giving up only one hit in two innings while striking out three.
Bowling Green came in for a visit and split a doubleheader with Lake County after the April 8th game was cancelled due to wet grounds.
Bowling Green took the opener in 10 innings, 6-3 with the Captains putting on their hitting shoes and won handily, 13-4.
Dakody Clemmer got roughed up by the Hot Rods giving up four runs in the 10th inning. Alex Royalty started and pitched the first five innings striking out six while giving up two runs. Skylar Arias had another good outing this time hurling two scoreless innings.
This game marked the first chance this season where a runner started at second base in the 10th inning. Bo Naylor started the 10th standing on second base for the Captains and scored a run but that was all they could muster in the inning in their defeat.
The nightcap was a different story as Lake County was lead by Ruben Cardenas who had three hits and two RBI as well as stealing three bases. Mitch Reeves also had three hits including a two run homer as did Will Benson. Benson drove in three runs for the game and had his third SB for the season.
Aaron Pinto (1-0) got the victory in relief of starter Zach Draper who pitched four good innings not allowing a run and only giving up three hits.
Brady Aiken once again struggled, giving up two runs in a third of an inning.
This marked the second time this season that Aiken was only able to last a third of an inning and with less than stellar results.
In my preview of the Captains, it was noted that Will Benson had to step up and start making more contact for him to advance. So far he has done that. Currently Benson is batting .313 with five hits in sixteen AB’s and three RBI. He has stolen three bases and although he has struck out 9 times he has also walked 4 times.
Ruben Cardenas is also hitting .300 and has the early RBI lead with six for the team. Cardenas has also stolen three bases.
We look forward to these two leading the team to more victories as the team and the weather starts to warm up.