Captains struggle against Silver Hawks, lose 8-1
Lake County struggled in all phases of the game against South Bend on Friday.
EASTLAKE, OH - The Lake County Captains (28-44) were defeated by the South Bend Silver Hawks (41-30) Friday evening by the score of 8-1.
The Silver Hawks scored first in the top of the second inning. With one out in the frame, right fielder Stryker Trahan hit a solo home run to left off of Captain starter Luis Lugo (5-5, 4.50). Catcher Michael Perez then followed Trahan with a solo home run of his own to give the Silver Hawks the early 2-0 lead.
South Bend used the long ball to its advantage again in the top of the third inning. After Lugo successfully retired the first two Silver Hawk hitters he faced, center fielder Breland Almadova reached on a bunt single up the first base line. Daniel Palka then followed Almadova with a two-run home run to right that extended South Bend's lead over Lake County to 4-0.
In the top of the fifth inning, the Silver Hawks continued to add to their lead by taking advantage of multiple mistakes by Lugo. He started the frame by hitting Silver Hawk third baseman George Roberts. Trahan then advanced Roberts to second with a single, which put runners on first and second with only one out. After Trahan's single, Lugo was able to get Marty Herum to hit a ground ball; however, Lugo dropped the ball at first base and Roberts was able to score from second. The error gave the Silver Hawks a 5-0 lead.
Lugo's night was over after five and two thirds innings. He took the loss after he gave up five hits, five runs, four earned, walked one, struck out seven, and surrendered three home runs.
The Captains were unable to muster any offense against Silver Hawk starter John Omahen (2-2, 4.30) throughout the night. Omahen got the win after he pitched six innings, gave up three hits, no runs, walked one, and struck out five.
Although Lake County was unable to plate any runs against Omahen, the Captains tried to start a rally off of relief pitcher Daniel Gibson in the bottom of the eighth inning. After shortstop Ivan Castillo started the inning with a walk, Clint Frazier hit a single to left to put runners on first and second with nobody out. Catcher Eric Haase then promptly drove in Castillo with a single to cut the deficit to 5-1.
However, the Silver Hawks put the game out of reach by scoring three runs in the top of the ninth inning. Second baseman Ryan Gebhardt started the inning with a double. Andrew Valazquez then followed Gebhardt with a single to center that increased South Bend's lead to 6-1. After Valazquez's single, Almadova hit a double to right field that scored Valzquez from first base. Palka then finished South Bend's scoring for the night with a single that drove in Almadova.
When asked about Trahan's success against Lake County this season, Captains manager Mark Budzinski believed pitch location was key.
“Trahan is learning how to be a consistent hitter at this level," Budzinski said. "He still chases pitches out of the strike zone sometimes, but most of his hits against us this season have come off of fastballs over the plate and elevated, which is something we have to improve."
The Captains will look to get back on track Friday evening when they send Mitch Brown (0-6, 4.43) to the hill. South Bend will counter with Blake Perry (5-2, 3.34). First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 PM.
Justin can be followed on Twitter @Yo_JMo