Comeback Claws Strike Again - Lakewood Scores Three in Eighth, Tops Delmarva 7-5 for Sixth Straight Win
SALISBURY, MD - Josh Stephen broke a 5-5 tie with a two-run double as part of a three-run eighth inning as the BlueClaws came back again to beat Delmarva 7-5 on Wednesday night at Perdue Stadium. The BlueClaws, who have won six in a row, have seven wins over their last 10 games in which they trailed in the seventh inning or later.
The win gives the BlueClaws (27-12/68-40) a sweep of the three-game series with Delmarva (19-19/54-51). Lakewood has won six straight, matching their season-long win streak this season, 10 of their last 11 games and 17 of their last 21 to remain four games in front of first place Hickory.
Down a run, the BlueClaws scored three times in the seventh to take the lead. With two outs and a runner at third, Quincy Nieporte singled to left to bring home Matt Vierling and tie the game. Josh Stephen then came up and cranked an 0-2 pitch to the wall in right-centerfield for a two-run triple that put the BlueClaws up 7-5.
Luis Cedeno (3-1) earned the win with three scoreless innings of relief while Connor Brogdongot the last three outs for his fourth save.
Delmarva got two runs in the first inning on an RBI double from Trevor Craport and an RBI single from Seamus Curran for a 2-0 lead off Damon Jones and the BlueClaws.
After Lakewood got a run on a Josh Stephen groundout, Max Hogan wrapped a home run just around the left field foul pole for a 3-1 Delmarva lead.
Matt Vierling added a home run for the BlueClaws in the third, his second home run as a BlueClaw, which pulled Lakewood to within 3-2.
However, Hogan was at it again. His 2-run double off the centerfield wall in the fourth put the Shorebirds up 5-2.
The BlueClaws got two more home runs to get back in the game. Daniel Brito hit a solo shot in the fifth inning, his fourth of the year. Then Colby Fitch hit his fifth of the year and second of the series to bring the BlueClaws within 5-4. After two reached, Jhon Peluffo came out and Timothy Naughton escaped further damage to keep Shorebirds ahead by one. Naughton (2-3), however, ran into trouble in the eighth as the BlueClaws came back to win.
BlueClaws starter Damon Jones gave up five runs over five innings with two walks and five strikeouts.
The three home runs hit the BlueClaws - Brito, Fitch and Vierling - were the most by the BlueClaws in a game this year. Simon Muzziotti, Nick Maton, Vierling, Fitch, and Stephen had two hits apiece for the BlueClaws.
The BlueClaws head home and open a four-game series with Lexington (Royals) on Thursday night at FirstEnergy Park. This will be the Legends' first visit to the Shore this year.
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Josh Stephen of the Lakewood BlueClaws
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