It was a long 12 hour drive from the Tampa Bay area to Hickory N.C. but Baseball Betsy and I made it and so far we are glad we did. The Lakewood BlueClaw defeated the defending first half South Atlantic League northern division champions Hickory Crawdads 6-3 in the second game of their five game series to open the second half.
Lakewood was paced by a grand slam in the third inning just inside the right field foul pole by Cord Sandberg. See Here. He would finish going three for four and a triple short of the cycle. He is off to a torrid start in the series going 6 for 8 in the first two games. See His double HERE.
Recent fourth round draft pick Kyle Martin would add an RBI double as well. See HERE.
Centerfielder Herlis Rodriquez doubled, See Here, and walked in the game to bring his batting average to .311 and his OPS to third in the league at .842.
It was the strong pitching of the BlueClaws that held the first half champs at bay. Starter Ranfi Casimiro went five and struck out the side in the second and would get a fourth strikeout in the fourth inning to garner his third win of the season. See HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE.
Alexis Rivero would come on in the eight and ninth innings to pitch shutout baseball to record his seventh save of the year. The hard throwing reliever lit up the Crawdads scoreboard speed gun with 97 and 98 mph fastballs. He struck out the final batter on low heat at 98 mph on the outside corner for a called strike three. See Here.
Timely hitting and good pitching usually mean victory and so it was in the win for the Lakewood BlueClaws last night in, as they say here, northwestern North Carolina.