EASTLAKE, Ohio – The Lake County Captains (28-43) opened up the second half of the season on the right foot as they defeated the South Bend Silver Hawks (40-30), 5-3, Thursday night at Classic Park.
South Bend struck first before the Captains came to bat. Centerfielder Breland Almadova coaxed a one-out walk and moved to third on a single by third baseman George Roberts. During the next batter’s at-bat, Almadova and Roberts completed a double steal of home and second base, respectively.
In the bottom of the second inning, Lake County took a 2-1 lead. Catcher Eric Haase led off with a double and first baseman Nellie Rodriguez followed with a walk. A groundout moved both runners into scoring position and designated hitter Torsten Boss plated Haase with a groundout to second. Third baseman Grant Fink took the lead with a RBI single to left field.
Kime won his second straight decision after going five innings with one run allowed. He scattered three hits and two walks across those five innings. He followed up his nine strikeout performance last week with eight punchouts on Thursday. Southpaw Anderson Polanco made his 2014 Captains debut with a scoreless sixth.
The Captains put a three spot on the board in the sixth inning. Left fielder Dorssys Paulino hit his first home run of the season – a solo shot to the bleachers in left field with two outs. Boss followed with a single and he scored on a RBI double by Fink. An error moved Fink to third and he scored on a RBI single by second baseman Claudio Bautista.
Furney’s night ended as Austin Platt was summoned from the bullpen with one on and two out. Platt tried to pickoff Bautista at first but the throw was wide and Bautista moved to second. Right fielder Logan Vick walked but the threat was extinguished.
Furney took the loss, allowing five runs (four earned) on nine hits in 5.2 innings. He walked two and struck out four.
Polanco got the first two outs in the seventh before walking the next two batters. Captains’ manager Mark Budzinskibrought in Alexis Paredes to pitch. Paredes moved both runners into scoring position with a wild pitch. Paredes walked a batter to load the bases but the Silver Hawks could not score.
Polanco threw one and two thirds scoreless innings out of the bullpen. He walked two and fanned two.
South Bend pulled within two in the eighth inning against Paredes. Right fielder Stryker Trahan laced a one-out single to right field but was erased on a fielder’s choice. Catcher Michael Perez doubled to the left field gap, scoring the runner from first base. Designated hitter Marty Herum plated Perez with a RBI single. Lake County led 5-3 going to the bottom half of the eighth.
Bud Jeter pitched a scoreless eighth after Platt threw a scoreless inning and a third of baseball.
Ben Heller locked down his fourth save of the year with three strikeouts in the ninth. Paredes allowed two runs on three hits in one and one third innings of work.
The Captains had nine hits in the opener. Fink had a three-hit game while Bautista had two hits in the game.
Lake County and South Bend are set to continue the series on Friday night at Classic Park. Captains’ lefty Luis Lugo(5-4, 4.31 ERA) is scheduled to take on RHP John Omahen (1-2, 5.82 ERA) for South Bend. First pitch is set for 7:00 p.m.