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West Michigan’s Comeback Spoils Peterson’s Gem In 4-1 Lake County Loss

Captains RHP Austin Peterson tied his season-high of 7.2 scoreless innings and threw eight strikeouts on Thursday night.
May 23, 2024

EASTLAKE, OH – Lake County RHP Austin Peterson (ND) pitched a season high-tying 7.2 scoreless innings, but a four-run ninth inning by the West Michigan Whitecaps (22-20) handed the Lake County Captains (23-19) a 4-1 loss on Thursday night at Classic Auto Group Park in Eastlake. Peterson needed just 87

EASTLAKE, OH – Lake County RHP Austin Peterson (ND) pitched a season high-tying 7.2 scoreless innings, but a four-run ninth inning by the West Michigan Whitecaps (22-20) handed the Lake County Captains (23-19) a 4-1 loss on Thursday night at Classic Auto Group Park in Eastlake.

Peterson needed just 87 pitches (60 strikes) to get through 7.2 shutout frames, allowing just three hits and no walks while fanning eight. Cleveland’s ninth-round pick in 2022 out of UConn retired his final 15 batters faced, and 20 of his last 21, before RHP Allan Hernández finished off a scoreless eighth inning.

The Captains struck first in the bottom of the fifth when DH Jake Fox, MLB Pipeline’s No. 18 Cleveland prospect, grounded into an RBI forceout to plate SS Alex Mooney, MLB Pipeline’s No. 20 Cleveland prospect. Mooney led off the inning with a single, stole his team-best 14th base, and scored his team high-tying 27th run.

Although the Whitecaps had been held to just three baserunners from the third through eighth innings, 1B Luis Santana led off the top of the ninth with a single off Lake County RHP Magnus Ellerts (1-2). After DH Luke Gold was hit by a pitch, RF Roberto Campos, MLB Pipeline’s No. 23 Detroit prospect, hit an RBI single to tie the game at 1-1.

After Ellerts issued a popout, West Michigan took the lead with one swing of the bat when 3B Izaac Pacheco, MLB Pipeline’s No. 28 Detroit prospect, clobbered a three-run home run to right field.

In the bottom of the ninth, Lake County put runners on the corners with two outs after 1B Maick Collado reached on a forceout and Fox singled. With 2B Jose Devers, MLB Pipeline’s No. 19 Cleveland prospect, representing the tying run at the plate, Whitecaps RHP Matt Merrill struck him out to end the game.

Merrill (3-0) was the winning pitcher, tossing two shutout innings while fanning two and walking two. Ellerts recorded the loss for the Captains, and his first blown save of the season, allowing a game-tying RBI single and the three-run home run that gave West Michigan the lead for good.

First pitch for the fourth game of this week’s scheduled six-game series between the Captains and Whitecaps is scheduled for Friday night at 6:35 p.m. Lake County will host Cleveland’s First Bubblefest, where the first 1,000 fans through the gates get free bubbles. The game will be broadcast on both the Bally Live app and MiLB.TV, with social media coverage courtesy of @LCCaptains on both X and Instagram.

Notes To Know

- RHP Austin Peterson has now posted five quality starts (six-or-more innings, three-or-fewer earned runs) in nine total starts so far this season. Peterson has gone seven-plus innings three times this year, and is the only pitcher in the Midwest League to do so.

- When the quick-working Peterson has started in 2024 (seven 9-inning games, two 7-inning games), the average game time is two hours and 20 minutes. The Midwest League’s average time of nine-inning games is two hours and 33 minutes, while averaging one hour and 57 minutes for seven-inning games.

- OF/INF Jake Fox is now batting .357 (5-for-14) with seven RBI through three games of the current series. The 21-year-old extended his hitting streak to five games on Thursday night with a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth inning.

The Lake County Captains are the High-A Affiliate of the Cleveland Guardians, and have been a Class A Affiliate of Cleveland since the team was founded in 2003. To find out more information about the Captains or purchase tickets, visit CaptainsBaseball.com, or call (440) 975-8085.

Contact: Logan Potosky, Play-by-Play Broadcaster & Media Relations Assistant
[email protected]