Skip to main content

BlueClaws ready as postseason set to start in Kannaplois

Matt Vierling, image- Jay Floyd

LAKEWOOD, NJ-- For the BlueClaws club that won the first and second half South Atlantic League Northern division titles, the destination for their bus following the season finale on Monday didn't make a difference.

Confidence among this bunch has been high all season long, which is no surprise considering the Class A Lakewood team notched the most wins in their franchise's history and sported the league's best record at 87-51.

It came down to the last day of the regular season to determine where the Class A BlueClaws would open the 2018 postseason. For West Virginia (Pirates affiliate), it was a "win and get in" scenario.  A win on Monday would lock them in as the dvision's Wild Card entrant.  However, a WV loss opened the door for Kannapolis (White Sox affiliate) to sneak in with a victory of their own.

Thus the journey to Kannapolis, NC for the opening round of the Sally League playoffs got rolling on Sunday evening.

Prior to their opponent being decided, the excitement level in the Lakewood locker room was way up.

"We put in a lot of hard work for this season and, especially since I joined this team in the second half, I've seen what we can do and where ever we're going after this, we're going to go down there and give it everything we got," said Matt Vierling, the Phillies' 5th round draft pick this year.

The 21-year-old righty hitting outfielder has been a considerable contributor to the BlueClaws' lineup throughout the second half, posting a .291 batting average with six homers and 25 RBI in 50 games.

Another new addition to the team for the second half of the season is first baseman Madison Stokes, who batted .260 with a homer and 11 RBI in 27 games with Lakewood after joining the team from short-season Class A Williamsport.

Madison Stokes, image- Jay Floyd
Despite being with the BlueClaws for a rather short period compared to some of the other players on the roster, the righty batting Stokes who was proudly wearing his Second Half Division Champions t-shirt before Monday's final game of the regular season, feels the impact the BlueClaws have had on the league is hugrly important.

"It's exciting to be here my first year in pro ball and be able to make history with the BlueClaws and make a playoff run.

"For us to finish it, which we have a great opportunity to go all the way, then that'd be extremely special, especially for my first year in pro ball," Stokes asserted.

The BlueClaws will open the best-of-three divisional round on Wednesday evening at 7:05PM at Intimidators Stadium.  Games two and three (if necessary) are slated to be played on Friday and Saturday at 7:05PM at Lakewood's FirstEnergy Park.

More 'Claws notes...

Lakewood manager Marty Malloy with go with the following starting pitchers for the three-game series: RHP Andrew Brown (6-3 record, 2.10 ERA), RHP Spencer Howard (9-8 record, 3.71 ERA), LHP Damon Jones (10-7 record, 3.41 ERA).

Lefty Will Stewart (8-1 record, 2.06 ERA in 113 2/3 IP over 20 starts), who was the ace of the team's pitching staff through much of the season and started the Sally League All-Star Game for the Northern division, will not pitch in the postseason, after he recently reached an organization imposed innings limit and was shut down for the year.

Stewart along with OF/1b/3b Jake Scheiner, manager Marty Malloy and pitching coach Brad Bergesen were named last week to the South Atlantic League post-season All-Star team.

The BlueClaws have won three leagues titles in their history- 2006, 2009 and 2010.  

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Who is Your Favorite Willie 'Mays' Hayes?

PhoulBallz.com is wondering which individual who has portrayed Willie "Mays" Hayes is the favorite of the public. Hayes, of course, is the character made famous in the Major League motion picture series. In Major League , Willie "Mays" Hayes was portrayed by budding Hollywood actor Wesley Snipes, who would go on to action movie superstardom. Snipes has starred in major motion pictures like the Blade trilogy, Passenger 57 , Undisputed and many more. Snipes remains an impact Hollywood actor, despite legal troubles related to income tax evasion. Snipes was replaced for the sequel, Major League II when his busy career, and possibly the film's budget, would not allow him to return, by Omar Epps. Another budding actor, Epps had previously worked with director David S. Ward, on the film The Program , and landed the role of Hayes, who had become a Hollywood action star over the off-season that occured between the two films. Epps' career portraying athletes rol

LHP Brown speaks on recent release and his future

Aaron Brown, image- Jay Floyd Please consider supporting my work and subscribe to  my Patreon page .  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 post.  Thank you. Aaron Brown was released last Friday after nearly six years in the Phillies organization. Brown, the Phils' 3rd round draft selection in 2014 out of Pepperdine, was primarily an outfielder after turning pro.  A two-way player in college, Brown switched to pitching in 2017 after struggling on offense (.224/.313/.360) at the Double-A level. A dominant hurler in college, Brown posted a 13-1 record along with a 1.95 ERA in 17 starts in 2014.  A solid performer on the minor league mound as well, the California native notched a 5-4 record with a pair of saves, a 3.82 ERA along with an 11.0 K/9 mark in 45 relief appearances for the Double-A Reading Fightin Phils last season. With free agency on the horizo

Former Phils prospect Cozens stops looters in AZ

Dylan Cozens, image- Jay Floyd Please consider supporting my work and subscribe to  my Patreon page .  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 post.  Thank you. Last week, as he rang in his 26th birthday, Dylan Cozens wasn't celebrating.  Instead, he took to the streets in the midst of rioting to protect local businesses in his native Scottsdale, AZ. After 1:00 AM, Cozens, a former Phillies outfield prospect and current Rays minor leaguer, caught a glimpse of some rowdy happening on Facebook Live.  Posts showed violence and thievery and the former second round draft selection wasn't going to let it continue.  "When I saw what they were doing and the reason behind it, I decided to try and stop it because it wasn't right. It had nothing to do with Black Lives Matter.  It was a hate crime to go and try to destroy businesses and loot and hurt peopl