By Zane Miller
In the 17-season long history of the Lake County Captains, the team has gone 1 for 3 in championship finals appearances, to go along with making six postseason appearances in total. As of this writing, Lake County’s best regular season record came in 2003 at 97-43, while their worst came in 2011 at 53-86. These are the top five single seasons by starting pitchers that I felt have stood out the most during the team history of the Captains.
In total, the team has won one championship, coming in 2010.
5. Luis Lugo (2014)
Lugo picked up a 10-9 record with the Captains in the 2014 season, going 126 and one-third innings with 16 home runs, 69 earned runs and 124 hits allowed to claim a 4.92 ERA. Despite finishing the year at 65-74, Lake County was able to qualify for the 2014 playoffs. The team defeated the South Bend Silver Hawks two games to none in the first round, as well as also sweeping the Fort Wayne TinCaps two games to none in the second round. However, Lake County would be swept by the Kane County Cougars three games to none in the finals.
4. Carlton Smith (2007)
The 617th overall pick of the 2004 draft out of Piscataway High School in New Jersey by the Cleveland Indians went 11-6 in 2007, pitching 121 and two-thirds innings while giving up 13 home runs, 57 earned runs and 125 hits for an ERA of 4.22. However, the Captains would take a 64-74 record, missing the 2007 playoffs.
3. Josh Judy (2008)
The 1,034th overall pick of the 2007 draft out of Indiana Tech by the Cleveland Indians took a 12-1 record during the 2008 season, pitching 74 and a third innings with six home runs, 29 earned runs and 60 hits allowed to take a 3.51 ERA. The Captains went 75-65 to reach the 2008 playoffs, losing to the West Virginia Power two games to none in the first round. Judy would make his major league debut with the Indians in 2011.
2. Roberto Hernandez (2003)
After being signed as an amateur free agent in 2000 by the Indians, Hernandez scored an impressive 17-4 record in 2003, allowing just 10 home runs, 34 earned runs and 117 hits in 148 and a third innings for a 2.06 ERA. The Captains claimed their best regular season record at 97-43 in what was also their debut season to make the 2003 playoffs, as they took down the Lexington Legends two games to none in the first round before losing to the Rome Braves in the finals three games to one. Hernandez would make his major league debut with the Indians in 2006.
1. James Deters (2006)
The 214th overall pick of the 2005 draft out of Calvin by the Indians picked up a 12-9 record in 2006, as he went 167 and two-thirds innings with 10 home runs, 58 earned runs and 178 hits allowed to nab a 3.11 ERA. However, the Captains would finish with a 64-74 record, missing the 2006 playoffs.
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