BlueClaws Drop Close Games to Start Season
Three of the first games of the 2018 Lakewood BlueClaws season have ended with a 4-3 score. They’ve been on the short side of the equation twice and lost 5-1 in the first game of a double header Sunday thus dropping their season opening series to the Kannapolis Intimidators three games to one.
On Sunday, it was Kannapolis starter John Parke who took advantage of the shortened game to pitch seven strong innings and take home the win. Parke allowed just one run over the seven innings while striking out six and retiring the last 15 batters he faced. A strong performance, especially this early in the season.
The only run the BlueClaws could muster was on a sacrifice fly by third baseman Jake Scheiner in the third inning. After that the BlueClaws went into a shell.
In the second game the BlueClaws scored first when Daniel Brito blasted his first home run of the season. But just as it’s been in other games this early season, the Claws gave the lead right back when they allowed an unearned run in the second and then allowed two more Kannapolis runs in the fourth. It’s very early in the season, but the BlueClaws seem to struggle holding on to their leads.
The BlueClaws are happy they won’t be seeing Intimidator second baseman Tate Blackmon who’s RBI double helped give the Intimidators the lead. Blackman had several key hits in the series, including a home run on opening day. Blackman has started the season batting a sizzling .571.
In the fifth, it was striking Brito again, as his bat remained hot, rifling a triple and subsequently scored on a wild pitch. That set the stage for the BlueClaws, Josh Steven’s who came thru with his first long ball of the season to tie the game at 3-3.
But just as has happened before, the BlueClaws quickly gave up the lead, when Anthony Villa (DH) drove home what would be the winning run off Lakewood’s Damon Jones, who took the loss, moving his record to 0-1.
After the game the BlueClaws hopped on the team bus and headed to the mountains of West Virginia to start a three-game series versus the Power. The Power have opened the season 1-2 after a series against Greenville. Their game this past Saturday was called due to snow. I believe we’ll end up calling 2018, the year there was no spring.