With a 6-3 victory on Sunday afternoon, the Lake County Captains (23-14) split their series with the Bowling Green Hot Rods and reclaimed first place in the Midwest League’s Eastern Division. They head into Monday’s off day with a one-game lead over South Bend and a two-game edge over Bowling Green.
The Captains will return to the field at 6:30 PM ET on Tuesday night as they begin a seven-game home stand, starting with a three-game series against the Dayton Dragons. They will play four with South Bend over the weekend before heading to Dayton for three more against the Dragons.
In other Captains notes:
PANNONE PLAYING STOPPER
Last Tuesday, Thomas Pannone came up big in a 4-2 victory in Eastlake over the West Michigan Whitecaps.
The young lefty worked three easy innings before he got in trouble in the fourth, giving up back-to-back hits to lead off the inning, putting the Whitecaps on the board, 1-0. He buckled down and stranded the runner at third to escape further trouble and Lake County took the lead two innings later on RBI hits from Willi Castro, Tyler Krieger, and Francisco Mejia and a sacrifice fly from Connor Marabell in a four-run sixth.
Pannone gave the Captains a quality start, allowing just one run over six innings. He surrendered five hits, issued one free pass, and struck out three. All three of his wins in 2016 have come after a Lake County loss.
Pannone is 3-2 on the season in seven starts with a 2.62 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. He has struck out 33 batters and walked nine in 34 1/3 innings pitched.
TOM’S BIG DAY
Outfielder Ka’ai Tom had a blast at the ball park last Wednesday in the Captains’ 7-2 win over the Whitecaps at Classic Park. After joining Lake County late after an extended spring, Tom was 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles, three RBI, and two runs scored. It was his third multi-hit game of the season and second three-hit game.
His second inning two-run double gave the Captains a 4-0 lead and he added another RBI-double in the fifth and came around to score on a Krieger single to make it a 6-1 game.
He is hitting .366 with a .490 OBP in 13 games this season with two doubles, a triple, and six RBI.
Casey Shane (4-1, 2.23 ERA) won his fourth game of the season in the victory, allowing one run on five hits over five and two-thirds innings while striking out four.
KRIEGER HITS FIRST PRO JACK
Krieger, in addition to his productive games earlier in the week, added a memorable feat to his young professional career on Saturday in a 9-3 win over the Bowling Green Hot Rods at Bowling Green Ballpark.
In the second inning with the score tied, the Captains loaded the bases before Castro hit into a fielder’s choice to push across a run, making it a 4-3 Lake County lead. Krieger came up with runners on the corners and sent a deep fly down the left field line and into the Bowling Green bullpen for a three-run shot, the first of his career. It gave the Captains a 7-3 lead on the way to their six-run win.
Krieger is hitting .328 through his first 34 games of the season with five doubles, two triples, the one home run, and 19 RBI. He entered Monday second in the Midwest League with 27 runs scored this season.
WHITEHOUSE DROPS ERA EVEN LOWER
With three shutout frames in the win on Saturday, reliever Matt Whitehouse dropped his team-leading ERA to 0.44. He struck out five in the outing, coming on in relief of starter Matt Esparza, and walked one to earn his first win of the season.
He is 1-0 on the year in ten starts, posting the minuscule ERA and a 0.74 WHIP. He has allowed three runs, but just one earned, on ten hits with five walks over 20 1/3 innings. He has struck out 25 batters in that span with two holds and two saves.
ISON HEADING TO COLUMBUS
Columbus outfielder Robbie Grossman opted out of his contract on Monday, leaving the Clippers down a man. Bobby Ison got the call from Lake County and will make the curious transfer to Triple-A. The corner outfielder had appeared in 27 games for the Captains this season, hitting .198 with a .267 on-base percentage. He had three doubles, a homer, and had driven in 16 runs on the year with a pair of stolen bases to his credit.
He has previously appeared in a game at the Double-A level with Akron last season.
Photo: Chuck Crow/The Plain Dealer