Sunday Runday, captains capitalize on bases for 8-7 win over cores

August 28, 2022 – Midwest League (MWL) – Lake County Captains Press Release

(EASTLAKE, OH) – The Lake County captains (69-49) took advantage of two errors, stole three bases and stopped a late push from Cedar Rapids Kernels (69-51) to win 8-7 on an 80 degree and sunny Sunday afternoon at Classic Park.

With the loss to West Michigan, Lake County is now three games up in the Midwest League East second half standings.

Doug Nikhazy had two 30-plus innings to start his start. The southpaw worked on loaded bases in the first but allowed three runs in the second. Jake Rucker had two on a two-run triple and Wander Javier hit one on a sacrifice fly.

Lake County posted two runs in response in the second. Christian Cairo walked and Connor Kokx doubled. Korey Holland scored Cairo with a left single and Micael Ramirez brought Kokx home with a base kick to left center.

The bases were loaded with no outs in the top of the third, after two walks from Nikhazy and an error. Raymond Burgos came in and forced a double play and strikeout, to limit the damage to just one run.

The captains would take the lead, with three runs late in the third. Joe Naranjo doubled and Alexfri Planez was hit by a pitch. Christian Cairo then fielded a ball in the center field which rolled against the wall and scored two points and finished with Cairo in third place, their first hat-trick this season.

In the fourth and fifth, Lake County tacked on three insurance runs to take an 8-4 lead. Joe Naranjo delivered an RBI single in the fourth.

In the fifth, Christian Cairo reached a field error on a ball in the third and moved on to the second. Cairo scored after a throwing error from the shortstop on a fly ball hit by Connor Kokx. Kokx would move to second on the error, then steal third, and with two outs, Micael Ramirez walked. Ramirez would create a preview trying to steal the second that gave Kokx time to go home which fell before a tag was applied to Ramirez.

The cores were held off the board until the seventh they would score three. After a 14-1-2-3 sixth from Zach Hart, the right-hander allowed back-to-back singles and then a two-run homer from Wander Javier to make it 8-7. Alaska Abney finished the inning, leaving the potential tying runner early.

Jack DeGroat worked an eighth of five 1-2-3. In the ninth, despite allowing a runner to reach third, Trey Benton would record the final and his seventh save to win 8-7.

After a day off, the captains will travel to Midland, Michigan to begin a six-game road series with the Great Lakes Loons on Tuesday, August 30, with a first pitch at 7:05 p.m. The Loons hold the best overall record in the Midwest League.

Game coverage can be found at and the MiLB First Pitch app.

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