April 28, 2016

On a cold, cloudy Thursday evening in Eastlake, the Lake County Captains easily beat the Burlington Bees to take the series win in the two teams’ annual interdivision series. As you might expect, the 10-1 victory came with some stellar performances from both the lineup and pitching staff.

The star of the night offensively was SS Willi Castro, who went 4-for-5 with two runs, a double, a two-run homer (his first in full-season ball), and four RBI. The Four runs driven in nearly doubled his season total, which stood at five through his first 17 games of the season. It was also the second game of what would become a 12-game on-base streak that got Willi out of a late-April slump (2-for-26 in his last six games, including 0-for-19 in his last four) that had seem his slash line plummet from .340/.333/.472 to .257/.264/..357 in a week’s time. Other notable offensive performances included CF and leadoff hitter Nathan Lukes going 2-for-3 with three runs, a double, and two walks and DH Yonathan Mendoza going 3-for-5 and driving in a run.

The pitching staff was stellar for the first eight innings of the game. Starter Thomas Pannone was so efficient that he was able to pitch five innings and earn the individual victory (not an easy task in Low-A in April), needing only 80 pitches to face 22 batters and allowing only seven baserunners – four hits, one walk, one hit batter, and one error (not by him) while striking out six. Relievers Matt Whitehouse and Christian Meister combined for three innings of scoreless relief, allowing only one hit and two walks while striking out three. Dominic DeMasi allowed the Bees’ lone run in a rough ninth frame, but by then the game was well in hand.

Needless to say, the vast majority of the 1,026 who braved the 45-degree first pitch temperature went home happy.


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