Captains sweep away Lansing in Saturday double header
EASTLAKE, Ohio – The Lake County Captains swept the Lansing Lugnuts in a double header Saturday, sealing manager Mark Budzinski’s first professional wins.
Captains’ starter Jordan Milbrath (1-0, 0-0) stole the show in game two.
Milbrath went the distance, pitching all seven innings as he walked two and fanned five. He allowed just two hits, one bloop single into shallow left by Thon, and one infield single by shortstop Jason Leblebijian.
“What more can you say about Jordan there?” Budzinski said. “The whole game, going out there, we wanted him to finish it.”
Milbrath said he felt fine through all seven innings, despite a bit of fatigue toward the end. Drafted as a college starter, Milbrath pitched in relief last year with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers. This year, the organization is trying him as a starter, Milbrath said.
“As long as I’m seeing field time, that’s all that matters,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Captains offense struck in the second inning as Ferrell sent his first hit of the year into the bleachers for the 1-0 advantage.
Four more touched home in the fifth inning as Ferrell led the rally with a one-out single to left. Ferrell advanced to second on a Paulino groundout and swiped third base, setting the stage for Bautista, who lined a double to left. Fink followed with a single to plate Bautista and first baseman Nellie Rodriguez doubled to end the evening for Lansing starter Jeremy Gabryszwski.
Scott Silverstein diffused the fire in relief, but the Lugnuts couldn’t overcome the movement on Milbrath’s pitches, resulting in the Captains’ 5-0 win.
Both starters struggled, but Hamrick managed to keep the team within win’s reach, Budzinski said.
Lansing unloaded all its runs in the third inning. Catcher Jorge Saez started the rally with a double to right and left fielder Derrick Loveless drew a walk. Centerfielder D.J. Davis lined a single to load the bases before second baseman Dickie Joe Thon unloaded a grand slam into the left field bleachers for the 4-0 advantage. Right fielderCarlos Ramirez followed with a double to right and advanced to third on a groundout. Cue shortstop Dawel Lugo, who sent a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Ramirez for the fifth run of the inning.
The Captains answered immediately in their half of the inning. Left fielder Brian Ruiz led off with a single and centerfielder Cody Ferrell drew a walk. Shortstop Dorssys Paulino laid down a bunt right back to the pitcher for a force play at third, but second baseman Claudio Bautista unleashed some power in the form of a home run to left.
Catcher Eric Haase kept the runs coming with a double to center and advanced to third on a single by third basemanGrant Fink. Designated hitter Anthony Santander tapped a groundout to score Haase, giving the Captains their fourth run of the inning.
That was the end for De Jong, whose final line posted at two-and-two-thirds innings, yielding four earned runs on five hits, one walk and a pair of strikeouts.
The Captains tacked one more to their tally in the sixth. With one out, Paulino doubled to right and reached third on a groundout. Haase and Fink drew a pair of consecutive walks and a fielding error by Thon at second proved costly as Paulino and Haase scored, giving the Captains the 7-5 lead.
Kenny Mathews kept a tight seal on the Captains’ chances, tossing three innings of relief, allowing just one hit and one walk while fanning three to tap the nail in the Lugnuts’ coffin.
Stephanie is a crime and general assignment reporter for The Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio. She’s an alumna of Cleveland State University with a degree in Journalism and Promotional Communication. You can follow her on Twitter @7thInningSteph.