Claws Leave Bases Loaded in Ninth (2018-06-16 14:48:14)

The BlueClaws left 11 men on base including the bases loaded in the ninth in a 4-3 loss to Hickory on Friday.

LAKEWOOD, NJ - The BlueClaws threatened in both the eighth and ninth innings but left the bases loaded in the ninth falling 4-3 on Friday night to Hickory at FirstEnergy Park.

In the ninth inning, reliever Joe Barlow walked the first two hitters with a one run lead. Jean Casanova came on for Barlow and Nick Maton's SAC bunt moved the runners to second and third. Jhailyn Ortiz popped up to second base for the second out. After Jake Scheiner was intentionally walked, pinch-hitter Gregori Rivero grounded out to end the game.

The BlueClaws left 11 men on base and scored in two innings despite getting the lead-off man on base in seven of the nine innings.

Lakewood remains one game in back of Kannapolis with two games remaining in the first half. The BlueClaws need two wins and two Kannapolis losses over the final two days of the first half to make the post-season.

Casanova, who got the last two outs, earned his second save.

Trailing 4-1, the BlueClaws got back in the game in the sixth. Quincy Nieporte's two-run home run, off the top of the left-centerfield wall, brought Lakewood within 4-3.

Crawdads starter Tyler Phillips came out after six innings, allowing three runs on 11 hits. Phillips earned the win, improving to 4-5 on the year.

Hickory got on the board with three runs in the fifth inning off Spencer Howard. An RBI single from Austin O'Banion tied the game. After a walk to Bubba Thompson, Preston Scott hit a two-run double to left-center to bring O'Banion and Thompson and give the Crawdads a 3-1 lead.

BlueClaws starter Spencer Howard, who fell to 3-6, gave up three runs on seven hits over five innings of work.

Kevin Markham had four hits for the BlueClaws, joining Jhailyn Ortiz as the only BlueClaws with four hits in a game this year. Nieporte was 3-3 with two runs.

The teams continue their series on Saturday night at 7:05 pm. LHP Damon Jones (4-2) starts for the BlueClaws opposite RHP Tyree Thompson (3-4).