LANSING, MI- The Lake County Captains (28-26, 51-70) used two homeruns in the fifth inning to propel to a 5-3 win against the Lansing Lugnuts (22-33, 54-70) on Saturday night at Cooley Law School Stadium. The Captains beat the Lugnuts for the seventh time this season.
The Captains sent Robbie Aviles to the mound in the series opener as he was opposed by righty Kendall Graveman for the Lugnuts, making his seventh start.
Lake County scored first for the fourth straight game as they brought two runs across in the first. The Captains loaded the bases three batters in with two singles and a walk. First baseman Joe Sever plated the first run with a RBI infield single. Catcher Eric Haase coaxed a walk, bringing home one more run.
Lansing did not let Lake County get too far ahead as they scored two runs to tie the game in the bottom half of the first. The leadoff batter, center fielder Dalton Pompey singled and was erased as he was caught stealing third base. Left fielder Dwight Smith Jr. walked with two outs and moved to third when second baseman Christian Lopes singled. Both Smith and Lopes crossed the plate on a fielding error by center fielder LeVon Washington.
Two longballs put the Captains in front in the fifth inning for good.. The second batter of the frame, designated hitter Jeremy Lucas sent his fifth homerun to the seats in left field. Sever singled for his second hit of the night. After the single to Sever, Graveman was relieved by Kramer Champlin. Haase struck again with his team-leading thirteenth homer to left field.
Graveman was hung with his second loss of the year. He gave up four runs on seven hits in four and one third innings. He walked three and struck out five.
In the bottom of the fifth, Lansing scored a run to complete the scoring at 5-3. Shortstop Emilio Guerrero opened the inning with a double. After a flyout, Guerrero scored when Lopes grounded out to short.
Aviles earned his fourth win after he allowed three runs (one earned) on three hits over five innings of work. He gave up three walks with one strikeout. D.J. Brown followed him to the mound in the sixth.
Champlin allowed one run in two and two thirds innings before making way for former starter Javier Avendano in the eighth. Avendano pitched two scoreless innings to end the game.
Brown scattered two hits and one walk over four scoreless innings of work. He picked up his first save of the season.
The Captains outhit the Lugnuts 11-5 on the night with eight different starters earning a hit. Sever and shortstop Dorssys Paulino had two hits each while Haase drive in three runs.
The second game of the four game set will take place on Sunday afternoon. Lake County will send RHP Jake Sisco (4-10, 4.72) to the rubber to take on RHP Taylor Cole (7-11, 3.92) for the Lugnuts. First pitch is scheduled for 2:05 from Cooley Law School Stadium.