G-Rod hits his Second Walkoff hit of the Series, Captains win 6-5

Eastlake, OH- The Lake County Captains (52-45) were back it at on Friday looking for a win against what seems to be their arch nemesis, The Great Lake Loons (60-39). After losing in heartbreaking fashion on Thursday, The Captains had "Doug Day" with LHP Doug Nikhazy (2-4, 3.31 ERA) on the mound Friday. The Loons countered with RHP Carlos Duran (0-2, 3.18 ERA) getting the start.


After striking out the first two batters in the top of the first, Nikhazy left a ball hanging over the middle of the plate and Loons SS Eddys Leonard took deep to left center and just over the wall. That was Leonard's 11th home run of the year and 6th home run against the Captains. Nikhazy then struck out the final batter of the inning. Loons took the lead 1-0.


The Captains threatened in the bottom of the 1st after Angel Martinez doubled to right. Joe Naranjo walked next. Both Alexfri Planez and Johnathan Rodriguez struck out. CF Petey Halpin walked loading the bases for 3B Milan Totentino. He fought at the plate, but went down looking at the big sweeping slider.


Doug Nikhazy was having control issues in the top of the 2nd, walking the bases loaded with 1 out. LF Harold Restituyo hit a blooper to center that CF Petey Halpin and 2B Aaron Bracho were both going for and after poor communication the base dropped scoring a run. Fortunately it was the only run of the inning, but the loons led 2-0 going into the bottom of the 2nd.


The Captains started to come unglued in the top of the 4th inning. Nikhazy walked the first two batters, then gave up a RBI double to Loons 2B Austin Gauthier. A wild pitch scored 1B Imanol Vargas and Gauthier advanced to 3rd. Next LF Harold Restituyo hit a RBI double to left scoring Gauthier. The Loons led 5-0 after the half inning.


The Captains finally came alive in the bottom of four. DH Johnathan Rodriguez singled to start the inning. Petey Halpin walked, followed by a single up the middle by Milan Tolentino scoring Rodriguez. 2B Aaron Bracho walked to load the bases. That was all the Loons were going to let Carlos Duran see as they pulled him in favor of RHP Antonio Knowles (3-3, 3.73 ERA). After a strike out by C Mike Amditis, LF Korey Holland hit a ball deep to center and off the top of the wall. A two RBI double that cut into the Loons lead. The next two Captains grounded out, but now it became a game with the Captains only trailing 5-3.


Doug Nikhazy was pulled after 4.1 innings for RHP Alaska Abney (6-2, 3.34 ERA). Nikhazy ended his day giving up 5 runs, all earned, walking 6, and striking out 5. Before he was pulled, Nikhazy gave up a single to SS Eddys Leonard and walked 3B Jorbit Vivas. Abney was able to get out of the inning with no damage done.


In what may have been the most exciting moment of the game, Milan Tolentino was called out on a clearly low pitch for strike three that ended the 6th inning. He threw his bat into the ground and got into home plate umpire Kyle Stutz face who then immediately threw out Tolentino. Coach Dicenzo then pulled Tolentino away. In the middle of the inning Coach Dicenzo was also thrown out while he was in the dugout. He then came charging out towards the umpire and used what was some colorful hand gestures to illustrate what exactly a strike zone looks like, before launching his helmet as he walked off to a roaring crowd and throwing his fist in the air.


The Captains cut the lead down to 5-4 in the bottom of the 7th when RF Alexfri Planez hit a laser beam to left center and onto the grass hill. It was his 15th home run of the season, a solo shot, and a much needed boost as he has had a rough series thus far. The home run was his first hit in his last 13 at bats.


Mason Hickman had a stellar outing reliving for the Captains pitching the 6th inning through the 9th giving up no hits and striking out 6.


Great Lakes brought in River Ryan in the 5th inning. It is was debut in high A and he was electric or the Loons, striking out 8, and only giving up one hit, the home run in the bottom of the 7th.

Fireworks in the bottom of the 9th as Captains C Mike Amditis blasted a ball to straight away center and out of the park his first home run of the season tying the game at 5-5 and sending the game into extra innings for the second game in a row.


The Captains would not be denied a win this day. In the bottom of the 10th inning the Captains had Joe Naranjo on second to start the inning. The Loons intentionally walked Alexfri Planez. CF Petey Halpin hit a bloop single loading the bases for Tuesday nights hero 3B Gabriel Rodriguez who replaced Tolentino after he was ejected in the 6th. Rodriguez hit a sky high fly to right field deep enough for Joe Naranjo to score giving the Captains a much needed win after a wild few games.



We were able to speak with Gabriel Rodriguez after the game and get his thoughts on what he has been seeing at the plate as well as having his second walk-off hit of the series.




The Captains face off against Great Lakes on Saturday at 7:00 P.M. on Cleveland Sports History night, which will feature Cleveland Cavs legend Larry Nance Sr. as well as current Cleveland Browns players Denzel Ward, Greg Newsome II, and rookie Perrion Winfrey.



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