(Eastlake, OH) - The Lake County Captains (35-26) suffered their second straight loss to the Lansing Lugnuts (28-32) on Saturday night. Lake County lost game two of a four-game series to the Lugnuts at Classic Park, 9-3.
Lansing jumped out to a 3-0 lead with two runs in the first and one more in the second. In the opening frame, Captains starter Alex Royalty walked Gabriel Moreno with one out and allowed a single to Griffin Conine before Jake Brodt singled home Moreno. Two batters later, with two outs, Conine scored when second baseman Daniel Schneemann committed a fielding error on Hagen Danner's ground ball. In the second, the Lugnuts loaded the bases and Hunter Steinmetz scored on a fielder's choice ground ball to shortstop by Conine.
The Captains pulled within one run in the bottom of the third. After Lansing starter Cobi Johnson walked Mitch Reeves with one out, Miguel Jerez launched a two-run home run into the left field bleachers to trim the Lugnuts' lead to 3-2.
Lansing added an insurance run in the third on the back of another Captains error. Nick Podkul led off and hit a high chopper to third and Jesse Berardi 's hurried throw sailed over Jerez's head and bounced into the stands. Podkul later moved to third on a ground out and scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Rafael Lantigua to push the Lugnuts' lead to 4-2.
Lake County again pulled within a run in the sixth. Will Benson began the inning with a sharp grounder that bounced over the first base bag and skipped into the corner. Benson sped all the way to third with a triple and later scored on a sacrifice fly to left field by Bo Naylor , cutting Lansing's advantage to 4-3.
The Lugnuts exploded for five runs in the eighth to pull away. Captains reliever Manuel Alvarez walked Podkul and allowed a single to Hagen Danner before Lantigua laced a two-run triple into the right field corner. Steinmetz then knocked in Lantigua with a single to extend Lansing's lead to 7-3. Reggie Pruitt came up next and hit a high bouncer to the third base side of the mound, but Alvarez fired the ball over Jerez's head at first. Steinmetz scored and Pruitt sprinted to third, but Jerez retrieved the ball and threw a one-hop strike across the diamond to cut down the Pruitt. Moreno followed with a solo homer over the left field wall to give Lansing a 9-3 lead.
Lugnuts reliever Joey Pulido picked up the win. The right-hander pitched 2.1 innings and allowed one run on two hits. Puliso (1-2) struck out two and walked two.
Royalty (1-4) took the loss for Lake County. He pitched 3.1 innings and allowed four runs on two hits. Royalty struck out three, walked five and hit one batter.
The Captains have lost five of their last six games and will try to right the ship on Sunday afternoon in game three of the four-game series against Lansing. First pitch at Classic Park is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.
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). Mini ticket plans for the 2019 season are still available for 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.