Skip to main content

BlueClaws Advance to SAL Finals


LAKEWOOD, NJ- On Saturday night in game 3 of the Northern Division playoffs, Lakewood starting pitcher Jonathan Pettibone took charge early and led his team back to the South Atlantic League Championship.

From the start, Pettibone's command was on point and his fastball was a notch faster than normal, coming in at 94 MPH on the FirstEnergy Park radar gun. Pettibone's battery mate Sebastian Valle fed off the energy from his pitcher and slammed a 2-run homerun in the bottom of the 1st inning that scored Michael Dabbs, who singled. Jeremy Barnes also drove in a run in the 1st, when he slapped a single that plated Leandro Castro.

Pettibone held opposing batters to just 1 hit while striking out a career high 9 batters over 7 innings, leading the defending league champs to a 6-0 victory and clinching a return to the finals.

"The early run support definitely helped my confidence," Pettibone said after the game. "I just tried to go out there and pitch the best I could to give the team a chance to win. I knew they were going to score runs for me. We got shut down (in game 2) and that's not like us."

Lakewood added a run in the 4th inning when short stop Alan Schoenberger knocked a single that drove Brian Gump home.

Pettibone rode a no-hitter into the 6th inning, where he surrendered the Crawdads' first hit to Travis Adair, with 2 outs.

"Pettibone set the tone right away. He was just outstanding in every sense," Lakewood manager Mark Parent stated. "He had ice water in his veins and he did exactly what he has done for (us lately)."

Pettibone's ERA over his last 9 starts is a sparkling 1.82.

The BlueClaws tacked on some insurance in the 7th inning, when Keoni Ruth reached on an error by Hickory third baseman Matt West. Alan Schoenberger then stroked a double on an 0-2 pitch that was barely fair, down the left field line. Ruth displayed great speed to score from first base on the play.

"I got the pitch away with runners on and I had been struggling to gets hits with runners in scoring position so it was nice to contribute tonight in the win," Schoenberger said. "Parent had actually called for a bunt on the first two (pitches), and I wasn't unable to get that down. I got an 0-2 change up that I got out in front of and just hit it hard enough to get it past the third baseman and keep it fair."

Also in the 7th, Dabbs plated Schoenberger with a sacrifice fly.

Hickory played poorly in the field, committing 5 defensive miscues in a game where there was no margin for error. Three of the BlueClaws' six runs were unearned.

Right-hander Luke Wertz threw the 8th and 9th innings for the BlueClaws to complete the 2-hit shut out.

Lakewood will travel to Greenville (Red Sox affiliate) to play the first two games of the championship round on Monday and Tuesday. Lakewood will host games 3, 4 and 5 on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, if necessary.

Pettibone expressed belief in his team's chances in the championship series. "We're all fired up and ready. We can beat Greenville. We beat them before." Lakewood would become the first repeat SAL champions since Savannah did it in 1993-1994.


Notes...
Mark Parent's pitching rotation for the SAL championship series is slated to be Trevor May, Julio Rodriguez and Brody Colvin. For games 4 & 5, if necessary, Parent would use Jonathan Pettibone and Trevor May. This will be Jonathan Pettibone's first opportunity at any level to win a championship. The BlueClaws went 18-for-100 (.180 avg) in their first round series. Next week's match up against Savannah marks the first championship rematch in league history. Lakewood beat Savannah 3 games to 1 last September.
_____________________________________________________

Follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter by clicking HERE.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

This Guy Speaks For All of You

This individual, interviewed by FOX 29 on Friday as the Phillies arrived back at Citizens Bank Park, said it best. When asked how he felt regarding the Phillies, he told Steve Keeley that he was, "Stoked, baby!" The unidentified phanatic then proclaimed, "We are talking about the Fightins here, the Fightins! Said!" Check out the media player below, as the transcribed version certainly does not do this phireball of phandom justice. The Phillies forced game 6 of the National League Championship Series with a 4-2 victory over the Giants in San Francisco on Thursday night. Game 6 will feature Roy Oswalt vs. Jonathan Sanchez in a return pitching match up from game 2. First pitch is scheduled for 7:57 pm EST at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. Be sure to tune in on 97.3 ESPN's Weekend Sports Guide with Tyrone Johnson this afternoon around 1:15pm to hear me chatting about the Phillies! 97.3 is based in Atlantic City. You can listen live online HERE . _________

McGwire Stays Phony, Despite Admitting Drug Use

Mark McGwire made an effort to publicly come clean today, admitting to the world that he took performance enhancing drugs during his playing career. Steroids and human growth hormones were among the drugs that McGwire admitted to using. MLB Network featured a one on one interview with Bob Costas and McGwire on Monday evening. The broadcast was virtually garbage, thanks to McGwire. Ahead is a list of quotes from McGwire's interview. McGwire repeatedly stated his point of view that there were no dishonorable intentions involved when taking steroids, and that he was merely using them as a means to recover from varying ailments. When asked if he felt like he cheated... "As I look back now...I can see how people would say that. As far as the talent goes and the hand-eye coordination, the ability, the genetics I was given...I don't see it." "I did not take this for any strength purposes." Denial. Read on for similar B.S. He whined about the abuse he'

Prospect Nation 2014: #4 2B/OF Cesar Hernandez

Cesar Hernandez, image- Jay Floyd Signed by the Phillies as an amateur free agent at the age of 16 in 2006, Cesar Hernandez swiftly proved himself as a capable prospect that had quite a future in baseball. Last year, the young Venezuelan was honored as a Triple-A All-Star and made his big league debut. This year, he'll be doing everything in his power to earn another chance to compete at the top level of the sport. Hernandez, a switch-hitter, made his professional debut with the Phillies' Venezuelan Summer League team in 2007. In two seasons there, he tallied a .296 batting average with three home runs and 45 RBI in 114 games. He followed that effort with a campaign in which he batted .267 with five doubles and a triple in 41 games for the rookie level Gulf Coast League Phillies in 2009. The following season, with the short-season Class A Williamsport Crosscutters, Hernandez was voted as the Most Valuable Player of the club by his teammates and was a New York-Penn Leag