Skip to main content

Lakewood Falls Short, Deciding Game Saturday

LAKEWOOD, NJ- With a chance to clinch a spot in the South Atlantic League finals, the Lakewood BlueClaws couldn't muster the offense it was going to take to get themselves an extra day off before travelling to the host city for the next round's opening game.

Struggling to put the ball in play when it counted against the Rangers affiliate Hickory Crawdads, the BlueClaws stranded 4 runners in scoring position, with the game tied in the 7th and 9th innings. Lakewood fell short again when they came to the plate trailing in the 10th inning and lined themselves out of a chance to tie the game or walk off with a victory.

A lead off walk for Leandro Castro and a double by Jeremy Barnes, that began the 7th inning, were wasted when Hickory reliever Miguel De Los Santos refocused and struck out the next 3 batters. This occurred in the midst of a stretch where 13 of 14 outs made by BlueClaws batters were on strike outs.

In the 9th inning Castro led off again drawing a walk. Barnes bunted him over and Stephen Batts flied out to center, allowing Castro to advance to 3rd base. Brian Gump, batting for Anthony Hewitt, walked and took 2nd base on a fielders choice defensive indifference call. Australia native Alan Schoenberger, with a chance to be the hero, then went down on strikes against reliever Joseph Ortiz.

"We just couldn't make contact when we just needed a simple fly ball or a ground ball. We weren't doing the fundamental things on offense, when there were guys in position to score runs, which is something we've been pretty good at for the most part," Lakewood manager Mark Parent said after the game.

A 10th inning run, that put the Crawdads ahead, nearly wasn't a run at all. With runners on first and third with 1 out, clean up hitter Zach Zaneski hit a slow grounder to short stop that was scooped by Schoenberger, who flipped to second baseman Keoni Ruth to get an out at second. However, Ruth was unable to complete a transfer in order to throw the ball to first base for a double play. As a result, Leury Garcia scored the go ahead run, before McGuire escaped the inning.

Garcia had reached scoring position in the 10th when he laced a base hit to center field, that should have been a single, but Jiwan James fell down while fielding the ball and Garcia was awarded a double when he hustled into second base.

Lakewood starting pitcher Brody Colvin had a strong outing overall, going 5 innings and striking out 5, while allowing just 3 hits and 1 unearned run. His counterpart, 19-year-old lefty Robbie Erlin, put forth an excellent effort as well. Erlin went 5 innings, struck out 8 and allowed just 2 hits and 1 earned run.

Hickory relievers Miguel De Los Santos and Joseph Ortiz combined for 5 shut out innings and 10 more strike outs.

"That team pitched their (butts) off and for the most part we did too," Parent said.

Lakewood attempted to rally in the 10th inning, when Ruth slapped a 1-out double to left center. Lakewood was in an ideal spot, with their top two hitters, Jonathan Singleton and Sebastian Valle, due up. Ortiz pitched carefully to Singleton and walked him. Valle ripped the first pitch he saw to third baseman Matt West who stepped on third to get the force out on Ruth, then fired over to first base to end the game and force action on Saturday.

In the end, Hickory pulled out a 2-1 extra inning victory in front of 7,335 BlueClaws fans. Saturday's game will determine the winner of the best-of-3 series.

Hitting coach Greg Legg expressed both frustration and understanding after Lakewood's offense completed an 18 strike out exhibition. While it was tough for the veteran hitting guru to watch his players struggle, Legg knows that this is the sort of baseball people should expect in the South Atlantic League. "This is a strike out league," Legg said. "How many times did they strike out? 12 tonight, and last game they struck out 16 times. That's why these two teams are in the playoffs, 'cause they've got good pitching."

Both teams got on the board in the opening frame and the game stayed locked into overtime. Hickory left fielder Travis Addair walked to start the game and advanced on a wild pitch before he moved to third on a sacrifice. Crawdads right fielder Jared Prince plated the run by grounding out to first base. Lakewood clapped back in the bottom of the 1st when Castro drove home Ruth with an RBI ground out of his own.

Greenville, a Boston affiliate, swept Savannah in 2 games in the Southern Division series, so the BlueClaws' or Crawdads' destination is decided for the best-of-5 championship series, after a winner is determined on Saturday. Right-hander Jonathan Pettibone (8-6, 3.49 ERA) will take the mound for Lakewood against righty hurler Jake Brigham (5-5, 3.51 ERA) at 7:05pm.


Notes....
Prior to the game, the BlueClaws announced that they were extending their player development contract with the Phillies through the 2012 season. Lakewood pitching coach Steve Schrenk will spend the off-season as a manager in the Australian Baseball League. Righty prospect Jarred Cosart, who has been sidelined since late June with an elbow injury, is with the BlueClaws after spending 2 months rehabbing in Florida. Cosart, who is still on the disabled list, says his elbow is 100% and he has begun facing hitters.

________________________________________________

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'

Catching prospect O'Hoppe tabbed to join Phillies

Logan O'Hoppe, image- Jay Floyd Please consider supporting my work and via my Patreon page .  For a small monthly fee, your patronage will get you exclusive interviews and other prospect related material as well as early access to all of my other content such as this feature.  Thank you.   On Friday, the Phillies added a pair of catchers to their 2020 player pool.  Minor leaguers Logan O'Hoppe (pronounced Oh-HOP-ee) and Henri Lartigue arrived in Philadelphia to help catch bullpen sessions for the team's collection of approximately 30 pitchers. The call to O'Hoppe was extremely welcome as the 20-year-old had been staying as active as he possibly could, working out with other players that have been been waiting out quarantine due to the current pandemic at his home on Long Island.  However, he had been very eager to step back onto an actual baseball field. "I just hope I can play soon.  Where ever that is or whatever form that is, that'd be awesom