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Captains drop nail biter to West Michigan

Hunter Gaddis struck out a career-high seven batters and walked one over four innings, but took the loss at West Michigan on Tuesday night. (Tim Phillis - TCP Photography)
May 25, 2021

(Comstock Park, MI) – The Lake County Captains (11-8) scored two early runs but could not hold on against the West MIchigan Whitecaps (9-9) in a 4-3 loss on Tuesday night at LMCU Ballpark.

(Comstock Park, MI) – The Lake County Captains (11-8) scored two early runs but could not hold on against the West MIchigan Whitecaps (9-9) in a 4-3 loss on Tuesday night at LMCU Ballpark.

The Captains grabbed a 2-0 lead with one run in each of the first two innings. Will Brennan led off the opening frame with a single. After Joe Naranjo worked a two-out walk, José Tena hit an inside-out ground ball single down the left field line to score Brennan. In the second inning, Austen Wade worked a two-out walk and Brennan pulled an RBI double down the right field line.

Captains starter Hunter Gaddis mowed down the Whitecaps over the first three innings. The right-hander struck out the side in the first inning and fanned seven West Michigan hitters over the first three frames. Gaddis scattered just two singles over those innings and held West Michigan scoreless.

The Whitecaps broke through against Gaddis in the fourth and tied the score at 2-2. Daniel Cabrera chopped an infield single to third to begin the inning. Dillon Dingler came up next and rolled a single into centerfield. Cabrera raced to third on the play and Dingler hustled into second base when Wade’s throw from center went to third base. Cabrera came home to score when Bryant Packard hit an RBI ground out to second base. Eliezer Alfonzo then hit a sacrifice fly to center that scored Dingler with the tying run.

West Michigan took the lead in the fifth inning. Gaddis was pulled after he walked Corey Joyce to begin the inning. Nathan Ocker came in and gave up a single to Jose King that moved Joyce to second. Two batters later, Andre Lipcius punched a two-run double down the right field line to give the Whitecaps a 4-2 lead.

The Captains cut into the Whitecaps’ lead with a run in the top of the sixth. Tena worked a one-out walk against reliever Sam Kessler. Two batters later, Jonathan Engelmann roped a two-out RBI double over Packard’s head in left field. Tena scored to trim West Michigan’s lead to 4-3.

Lake County threatened in the top of the ninth inning. With one out, Whitecaps reliever Ruben Garcia hit Mike Amditis with a pitch to put a runner on first base. Victor Nova entered the game to pinch run and promptly stole second base. After Garcia struck out Wade, the reliever hit Brennan with a pitch to put runners on first and second. With two on and two out, Garcia struck out Brayan Rocchio looking to end the game.

Chance Kirby (1-1) worked five innings to earn the win for West Michigan. He allowed two runs on three hits. Kirby walked three and struck out one.

Gaddis (1-2) received the loss for Lake County. He struck out seven and walked one, but was also charged with three earned runs on four hits across four innings.

Garcia (3) earned the save in the ninth for the Whitecaps. Despite hitting two batters, he struck out three Captains to hold on to West Michigan’s 4-3 lead.

L**ogan Allen** gets the start for the Captains in game two of the six-game series on Wednesday night. First pitch at LMCU Ballpark is set for 6:35 p.m.

A**bout the Captains**

The Lake County Captains are the High-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. For more information, visit the Captains’ website at, Facebook page at, Twitter @LCCaptains and Instagram @LCCaptains. Fans can also get the latest Captains news and offers by signing up for the Captains’ newsletter, The Anchor.