Hawks fly ball Captains, 6-3
SOUTH BEND, IN - The Lake County Captains (24-41) fell to the South Bend Silver Hawks (38-26) at Stanley Coveleski Regional Stadium by the score of 6-3 Tuesday evening. The loss pushed the Captains' road record to 6-24 on the season.
The Captains used the long ball to gain the early lead against the Silver Hawks. In the top of the first inning, center fielder Clint Frazier, the Indians' 2013 first round pick, hit a solo home run off of Silver Hawk starter Blayne Weller. Catcher Eric Haase then followed Frazier with a solo home run of his own, which gave the Captains a 2-0 lead.
The home run by Haase was his 12th of the season and his second in consecutive days.
The Captains continued to add to their lead in the top of the second inning. Left fielder Dorssys Paulino worked a walk off of Weller. After Claudio Bautista followed Paulino with a single to right, shortstop Ivan Castillo made the score 3-0 with a single that drove in Paulino from third. Lake County threatened to add to its lead later in the inning, but right fielder Logan Vick grounded into a double play with runners on the corners to end the frame.
Captain starter Mitch Brown turned in one of his best performances of the season against the Silver Hawks. He pitched five scoreless innings, allowed only one hit, walked one, and struck out four. Although Brown had pitched very well through five innings, Captains manager Mark Budzinski opted to go to his bullpen for reliever Matt Whitehouse to pitch the bottom of the sixth inning.
While the Silver Hawks failed to mount much offense against Brown, they had no problem scoring off of Whitehouse. In the sixth inning. Silver Hawk shortstop Andrew Valazquez singled to left with one out. After Breland Almadova followed Valazquez with a walk, first baseman Daniel Palka hit a three-run home run that tied the game at 3-3.
After giving up two early home runs, Weller rebounded to pitch six quality innings. He gave up three runs, five hits, two walks, and struck out seven Captain hitters. Weller was relieved by Bud Jeter to start the seventh inning.
Wander Beras relieved Whitehouse to begin the bottom of the seventh inning. Although Beras managed to strike out the first two Silver Hawks he faced, South Bend was still able to muster enough offense to take the lead in the inning. Left fielder Zach Esquerra reached first base on catcher's interference from Haase, and then promptly scored on an RBI double by Ryan Gebhardt. The double gave South Bend a 4-3 lead.
The Silver Hawks added to their lead and effectively put the game out of reach in the bottom of the eighth inning. After Almadova led off the frame with a walk, Palka hit his second home run of the game to increase South Bend's lead to 6-3.
Jeter pitched a scoreless inning of relief for the win. Silvino Bracho pitched the ninth inning for the Silver Hawks and picked up his tenth save of the season. Beras took the loss after he gave up the go ahead RBI double to Gebhardt in the seventh inning.
The Captains will look to get back on track Wednesday evening when they continue their series with the Silver Hawks at 7:05 PM. Lake County is scheduled to start Jordan Milbreth (1-7, 3.36) while the Silver Hawks will counter with John Omahen (1-1, 1.93).
Justin can be followed on Twitter @Yo_JMo