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

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