(Eastlake, OH) - The Lake County Captains (34-35, 74-63) lost game one of the Midwest League Quarterfinals on Wednesday night at Classic Park. Lake County fell to the Great Lakes Loons in the opening contest of the best-of-three series, 6-4.
A pair of solo homers put the Loons on top early. After Captains starter Shane McCarthy retired the first two batters of the ballgame, Justin Yurchak connected with a solo home run to right field. Two innings later, James Outman led off the third with a long ball to right, extending the Loons' advantage to 2-0.
Lake County did not tally a hit until the fifth, but scratched across its first run in the bottom of the third. After pitching two perfect frames to begin the game, Loons starter Ryan Pepiot walked Daniel Schneemann and Jonathan Engelmann , back-to-back, to start the third. Great Lakes called on lefty Justin Bruihl to reliever Pepiot, but Clark Scolamiero moved the runners up with a sacrifice bunt and a passed ball by catcher Jair Camargo brought Schneemann home to cut the Loons' lead to 2-1.
The Loons added an insurance run in the fourth. Chris Roller led off the frame with a double and moved to third on a wild pitch. Camargo drove him home with a sacrifice fly to stretch Great Lakes' lead to 3-1.
A pair of Captains errors helped the Loons add two more tallies in the top of the fifth. Yurchak and Romer Cuadrado hit back-to-back one-out singles. Leonel Valera came up next and singled up the middle and the ball skipped over the glove of Quentin Holmes in centerfield. Yurchak scored on the play, Cuadrado advanced to third and Valera coasted into second. Lake County pulled the infield in and Luke Heyer hit a pop up into shallow right field. Jose Fermin ranged back from second and dropped the pop up, allowing Cuadrado to score to give the Loons a 5-1 advantage.
The Captains finally put a tally in the hit column in the bottom of the fifth and Holmes atoned for his error with an RBI knock to trim the Loons' lead to 5-2. Engelmann singled off of Bruihl with one out, stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch. Holmes then slammed a single into centerfield to bring home Engelmann.
Great Lakes added a run in the seventh on back-to-back doubles. Valera doubled with one out off of reliever Nick Gallagher and Heyer followed with a double to drive him in. The Captains, however, had an answer in the bottom of the inning.
Scolamiero singled with one out in the seventh and Holmes followed with a line drive double to left-centerfield, bringing Scolamiero home. George Valera then smoked a double to right-center that scored Holmes to trim the Loons' lead to 6-4.
The Captains brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth, but could not come back. After reliever Aaron Ochsenbein struck out pinch-hitter Jesse Berardi to begin the inning, Scolamiero reached on an infield single to second. Ochsenbein struck out Holmes for out number two and Scolamiero scampered to second on a wild pitch. Ochsenbein then struck out Valera to seal the win for Great Lakes and notch the save for himself.
Bruihl (1-0) picked up the win for the Loons. The lefty pitched 2.2 innings and allowed one run on three hits. He struck out two and walked one.
McCarthy (0-1) took the loss for Lake County. The right-hander pitched five innings and allowed five runs, three earned. He struck out three, walked none and gave up 10 hits.
The quarterfinals series shifts to Midland, MI for game two on Thursday night. Lake County needs to win in order to force a decisive third game on Friday. First pitch for game two is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Dow Diamond.
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). 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.