(Eastlake, OH) - The Lake County Captains (8-9, 35-51) could not solve Tom de Blok and a pair of West Michigan Whitecaps (13-4, 58-26) relievers on Saturday night. The trio of Whitecaps hurlers combined to shutout Lake County on three hits and David Gonzalez drove in both of West Michigan's runs. The Captains lost the second game of the four-game series, 2-0.
De Blok (1-0) was making just his fourth start of the season and his third with West Michigan. The right-hander stymied the Captains who only managed four baserunners against him. Conner Capel doubled twice, once in the first and once in the sixth, Mitch Longo singled in the fourth and Jose Medina walked in the fifth. De Blok never allowed more than one Lake County hitter to reach base in a single inning. He pitched six frames shutout frames and struck out a career-high eight en route to the victory.
Lefty Evan Hill and right-hander John Schreiber held the Captains scoreless in the final three frames. Hill worked the seventh and eighth. He only allowed one baserunner on a walk to Medina and struck out one. Schreiber pitched a one-two-three ninth with a strikeout and earned his fourth save of the season.
Captains starter Brady Aiken took the loss, though he effectively worked around six walks to limit the damage against him. Aiken (1-10) pitched 5.1 innings and allowed two runs on six hits. The lefty struck out three.
Gonzalez plated the game's first run in the fourth. West Michigan had loaded the bases on a leadoff double by Austin Athmann, a single by Cole Bauml and a walk by Zac Shepherd. Aiken then struck out the next two batters, but Gonzalez punched a single into right field. Athmann scored on the play, but the Captains made a fine defensive play to escape the inning.
After the single, Gonzalez took a wide turn around first base and first baseman Emmanuel Tapia cut off the throw from the right fielder, Longo. Tapia tossed the ball to Elvis Perez who chased Gonzalez into a rundown. With the bases loaded, the runners in front of Gonzalez were forced, so Bauml bolted for the plate. Perez whipped a quick throw home and Logan Ice applied the tag to end the inning.
Gonzalez knocked in the Whitecaps' other run in the sixth. Aiken walked Bauml to lead off the inning and Shepherd followed with a single. After Aiken recorded the first out, he walked Chad Sedio to load the bases for Gonzalez. Ryan Colegate came in from the bullpen to face Gonzalez and the Whitecaps' second baseman skied a fly ball to left. Bauml scored on the sacrifice fly to give West Michigan a 2-0 lead.
The Whitecaps won their fourth straight game, all of which have been decided by two or fewer runs. Lake County lost its third straight. The Captains and Whitecaps play the third game of their four-game series on Sunday afternoon. First pitch at Classic Park is scheduled for 1:30 PM.
Individual game tickets for all Captains games are on sale at the Classic Park box office, online at captainsbaseball.com and by phone at 440-954-WINS (9467). 12- and 20-game mini ticket plans for the 2017 season are on sale now at great prices complete with several exclusive benefits. Information can be found at the Captains website www.captainsbaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.