The Lake County Captains have returned to their winning ways, now that they have not had to see the South Bend Cubs for a stretch.
They wrapped up a series split last Monday by taking the fourth game of their series with Fort Wayne by a 5-4 final. They followed by taking two of three from Bowling Green to end their homestand with a 4-3 record. Over the weekend, they captured another series win by taking each of the first two games against Great Lakes in Midland, Michigan, at Dow Diamond before the Loons ended their season-high tying six-game losing streak with a win in the 8-4 finale.
The Captains remain in third place in the Midwest League’s Eastern Division, trailing South Bend by a game and a half and just a half-game behind second place West Michigan.
In other notes from the Captains’ log:
After a very difficult series against the South Bend Cubs last weekend, the Lake County Captains needed to right the ship and did briefly, sweeping a three-game set during the week with the Dayton Dragons before returning home and losing two of three to Fort Wayne, despite outscoring the TinCaps in the series, 19-16, so far.
The Indians’ Class-A affiliate heads into play this week with a 28-22 record, sporting identical 14-11 records at home and on the road. Their recent struggles, combined with nine wins in their last ten games by the Cubs, have knocked the Captains four games off of the pace in the Midwest League’s Eastern Division and into the third spot in the standings.
The Captains will aim for a split with the TinCaps in Monday’s 1:00 PM start, looking to avoid losing a third consecutive home series at Classic Park. They will then welcome in the Bowling Green Hot Rods for three games before a brief road trip to take on the Great Lakes Loons. They will follow that series with a return trip to Eastlake for another six-game homestand.
In other news in the Captains’ log:
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:
From the start of the season, it was evident that the Lake County Captains were a team with potential. Their roster boasted names of top prospects, players drafted only last year, and players who have performed well at other levels throughout the system. However, as Indians fans know quite well, names don’t always mean performance will follow.
The Captains, though, are so far proving that wrong.
For many years, the Indians have been criticized for having some sub-par draft classes, getting few regular contributors to the everyday lineup in Cleveland while the club needed to supplement the poor selections by trying to pick off young talent from other teams.
Recent drafts, especially in this second decade of the 21st century, have provided much more promise and Lake County’s Tyler Krieger is quickly establishing himself as a top prospect to watch down on the farm. On Saturday, the 22-year-old switch-hitting middle infielder had five hits in six at bats and the Captains tallied 19 hits and a dozen runs in a 12-0 shutout of the Lansing Lugnuts.
Two of the Cleveland’s minor league affiliates enjoyed come-from-behind wins on Thursday night and shutouts on Friday in continuing strong starts down on the farm for potential future Indians players.
The Lynchburg Hillcats trailed 5-1 in the top of the eighth inning when the club erupted for seven late runs in the final two frames to steal an 8-6 victory over the Frederick Keys on their home turf at Nymeo Field in Maryland on Thursday.
After a brief trip on the road to Fort Wayne and West Michigan, the Lake County Captains return to their home at Eastlake’s Classic Park as they begin a homestand twice as long as their season opening two-game set against the TinCaps one week ago.
The Great Lakes Loons, the Class A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers, will come to town for the weekend set at Lake County, but Captains fans will not have much baseball to watch before the club returns to the road again. First pitch of Thursday’s series opener is scheduled for 6:30 PM, with gates opening at 5:30 PM.
The Captains are off to a good start, entering play Thursday with a 5-2 record, including a 2-0 record at Classic Park. They swept a three-game series from the West Michigan Whitecaps, despite committing five errors in Tuesday’s 9-7 win and holding on for a one-run win on Wednesday.
As William Shakespeare almost once said, “It was the winter of our discontent in Eastlake, Ohio, now made glorious by the chill of April.”
Such is the call as another season of Lake County Captains baseball begins on the east side of Cleveland as a new host of young minor league ball players take the stage for, often, their maiden voyage into professional baseball, their hopes set on Progressive Field a mere 20 minutes down Route 2. Their journey will take them many more miles before culminating at the big league stage, for those who make it that far. Some may have their journeys stopped sooner, some may find themselves separated from the Indians in a few seasons. But now, at Classic Park, they are all young, all hopeful, and all ready to work as hard as possible to leave their marks on the Indians system.