Lake County Season Comes To A Close; Tin Caps 13, Captains 6
By Mike Brandyberry
One bad inning, that’s all it takes sometimes.
In an elimination game, it was the difference for the Lake County Captains. Their one bad inning sealed their fate and ended their season Monday night, losing to the Fort Wayne Tin Caps, 13-6. The Captains’ season ends, one game short of the Midwest League Championship Series, something that seemed unthinkable when they were 31-38 at the end of the first half of the season.
The one bad inning came for Lake County in the top of the sixth inning when Nick Pasquale and Danny Jimenez combined to give up six runs. They’re mess was aided by two errors from Francisco Lindor.
Captains’ starter Cody Anderson was knocked around early, allowing four runs and did not survive the third inning. He allowed a solo home run in the second inning when Lee Orr hit his second home run in as many days for Fort Wayne. In the third inning Yeison Asencio, Travis Whitmore and Austin Hedges each singled to load the bases with only one out. After Anderson got Duanel Jones to pop out to second base for the second out, Kyle Gaedele doubled to center field to clear the bases and give Fort Wayne a 4-0 lead after three innings. Pasquale replaced Anderson and recorded the final out of the inning.
But Lake County answered right back in the bottom of the third inning, posting four runs of their own and tying the game. Alex Lavisky led off the inning with a ground rule double and moved to third on a wild pitch while Joseph Wendle struck out. Jose Ramirez followed with a double of his own, scoring Lavisky and getting the Captains on the board, trailing 4-1.
Lindor singled, but Ramirez was thrown out at the plate trying to score. Jordan Smith singled to advance Lindor to third base. Jerrud Sabourin followed with a single of his own, cutting the deficit to 4-2, but Jake Lowery doubled to the wall to score both Smith and Sabourin and tie the game at four after three innings. Tin Caps’ starter James Needy wouldn’t make it out of the third inning himself, neither would Fort Wayne hitting coach Jacque Jones. Jones was ejected for arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire Fernando Rodriguez.
No one would score until the fatal sixth inning for Lake County. Fort Wayne plated six runs—four earned in the inning. They scored three runs before Pasquale was able to record an out. Pasquale pitched so well in relief of Anderson a week ago in the playoff opener, but seemed to run out of gas in this game. The error by Lindor allowed two unearned runs to score in the sixth. Fort Wayne tacked on another run in the seventh inning when Whitmore hit a solo home run to make it 11-4, Tin Caps.
However, Lake County would not be able to scratch any closer and their season came to a close. The Tin Caps would tack on two more runs in the top of the ninth inning when Asencio hit a two-run homer to remove any doubt in the contest and give Fort Wayne a 13-6 win. They’ll advance to the Midwest League Championship Series, beginning Wednesday.
While the Captains had a chance to advance to the final series, falling just short cannot be deemed a failure for a team that was the youngest in the league on Opening Day. The development of Lindor, Smith, Myles and Sabourin will be evident in their advancement through the Indians’ minor league system next season. Each were in their first full seasons as professionals.
Photo: Matt White/DTTWLN.com