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Lake County Captains lose early lead, fall to West Michigan, 4-1

Lake County Captains lose early lead, fall to West Michigan, 4-1
Photo credt: Tony Lastoria/IBI
May 7, 2014
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COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. – The West Michigan Whitecaps (20-13) took advantage of three errors made by the Lake County Captains (9-24) in a 4-1 win Wednesday afternoon.

The Whitecaps took all three games of the series and the Captains have dropped four straight games.

West Michigan has had Lake County’s number as the Whitecaps have won six of seven games played this season.

The Captains jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning. Catcher Eric Haase singled with two outs, went to second on a walk, and moved to third on a fielding error. With the bases loaded, Haase scored on a wild pitch by Whitecaps’ starter Austin Kubitza.

West Michigan tied the game in the second following an error. Designated hitter Ben Verlander led off with a single to center field. Pitcher Jordan Milbrath tried to pickoff Verlander, but the ball did not find first base. Verlander advanced to third on a two-base error. Right fielder Tyler Gibson singled home the runner to tie the game at one.

Milbrath made another error that led to two runs and the game in the fifth inning. Shortstop Willy Adames singled and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Center fielder Wynton Bernard walked to load the bases with two outs. Second baseman Javier Betancourt lined a single off of Milbrath. Milbrath tried to field the ball but he fell down. When he fell down, he threw the ball in the direction of first base but it went into right field. Both runners scored to make the game 3-1.

Kubitza improved to 4-0 on the season with six innings of one-run ball. He gave up one unearned run on five hits, two walks and seven strikeouts.

Milbrath took the loss, after giving up three unearned runs in six innings. His final line was six innings, three unearned runs, two walks, three strikeouts. Milbrath has not allowed an earned run in his last four starts covering 19 and one third innings. Caleb Hamrick entered in relief.

Bernard tripled home a run in the seventh inning to add an insurance run and conclude the scoring at 4-1.

Hamrick surrendered one run on three hits across two innings. He allowed one walk and fanned two.

The Whitecaps bullpen which included Detroit Tigers’ reliever Luke Putkonen on rehab, Will LaMarche and Zac Reninger shut out the Captains over the final three innings.

Two Captains had multi-hit games on Wednesday afternoon. Haase and newly-added shortstop Ivan Castillo had two hits each in the game. Haase now has six multi-hit games this season.

The Captains are scheduled to return home to Eastlake, Ohio, for a three game series against the Bowling Green Hot Rods on Thursday night. Captains RHP Adam Plutko will start for the home team. Bowling Green has not announced a starter for the game. Game time is set for 6:30 p.m.

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