(Dayton, OH) - Josh Rolette drove in all three runs for the Lake County Captains (22-19, 62-48) in a narrow loss to the Dayton Dragons (19-22, 47-64) on Saturday. Lake County lost the opener of a four-game series at Fifth Third Field, 4-3.
The Captains' offense started strong with two runs in the first inning. Lake County loaded the bases with one out on singles by Clark Scolamiero and Bo Naylor , plus a walk to Jonathan Engelmann . Rolette then grounded a single into center that scored both Scolamiero and Naylor to give the Captains a 2-0 lead.
Dayton struck back in the bottom of the first. Michael Siani hit a one-out single and Captains starter Eli Lingos walked Jay Schuyler with two outs. Juan Martinez then singled in Siani to cut the Captains' lead to 2-1. Cameron Warren came up next and pulled a double down the left field line. The ball got stuck in the Dayton bullpen, allowing both Schuyler and Martinez to score to give the Dragons a 3-2 lead. Dayton added a run in the third when Schuyler led off the inning with a homer to left.
The Dragons' bullpen stifled Lake County. After starter Lyon Richardson struck out seven and held the Captains to two runs over four innings, lefty reliever Andy Fisher struck out seven over three hitless innings. Fisher (2-1), who ultimately picked up the win, finished with six straight strikeouts, striking out the side in the sixth and seventh innings.
Matt Pidich entered in the Captains promptly loaded the bases with nobody out, but Pidich escaped with just one run allowed. Jose Fermin and Naylor began the inning with singles and Engelmann walked. Rolette then hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield and Fermin scored from third to trim the Dragons' lead to one run. The RBI was Rolette's third of the game and seventh in the last three games. Pidich then struck out Connor Smith and got Daniel Schneemann to ground out to first for the final out of the inning.
Lake County threatened in the ninth, but Pidich walked the tight rope successfully to earn his fifth save. With two outs, Scolamiero pulled a 3-2 pitch into right field for a single and then stole second base. Fermin came up next and hit a soft bouncer toward shortstop. Martinez cut across from third and threw to first on the run to nab Fermin for the final out of the game.
Lingos (2-3) took the loss. The lefty pitched five innings and gave up four runs on eight hits with five strikeouts and one walk.
The Dragons' pitching staff collected a season-high 17 strikeouts in the game. That mark tied a season-high in K's for the Captains' offense.
The Captains take on the Dragons again on Sunday in game two of the series. First pitch at Fifth Third Field is scheduled for 7:00 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.