Claws Back up First-Half Title by Taking Second Half Crown
GREENSBORO, NC - The First-Half Champion BlueClaws closed out a South Atlantic League Second-Half Championship on Thursday night with an 11-3 win at Greensboro and in the process won their 85th game, setting a club record for the most wins in a season.
The BlueClaws become just the sixth team since the SAL instituted their new playoff structure in 2000 to win both halves of a season and the first since Savannah in 2015. It's the second time the BlueClaws have done it, as this team joins the 2010 BlueClaws, who were the only team to win both halves and then the league title.
Lakewood (44-21/85-49) sweeps the four-game series from Greensboro (23-40/57-75) and finish 7-1 on their eight-game road trip. They've matched their season-long winning streak at six with four left in the regular season.
PLAYOFF TICKETS - BlueClaws single-game playoff tickets go on sale on Friday at 732-901-7000 option 2 or online at BlueClaws.com. The first home playoff game is Friday, September 7th.
Andrew Brown (6-3) earned the win, allowing just an unearned run in the fourth inning, over seven. It was the fourth time the right-hander has gone seven innings this year as he earned his sixth win.
Lakewood opened the scoring in the third inning on an RBI single to left field from Jake Scheiner.
They added to the lead with four runs in the fourth, started by an RBI double from Madison Stokes. Matt Vierling added an RBI single, Simon Muzziotti an RBI groundout, and Jake Scheiner and RBI single for a four-run frame.
Lakewood added six more in the ninth, capped but a three-run Dalton Guthrie home run. It was his fifth of the year and second straight game with a three-run home run.
Simon Muzziotti had four hits for Lakewood while Madison Stokes had three hits and three RBIs in the win. Matt Vierling and Jake Scheiner added two hits apiece.
Zach Warren got the last three outs and has allowed just two earned runs in 24.1 innings so far in the second half.
Trevor Rogers (2-7) gave up five runs in four innings and took the loss.
The BlueClaws will return home on Friday for the final four games of the regular season against Delmarva. RHP Julian Garcia (7-3) will start Friday's series opener.
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