GREENSBORO, N.C. – Adam Buschini came up big for the second straight game giving the BlueClaws a late lead with an RBI double, and Josh Zeid worked out of a bases loaded jam with no outs to give the BlueClaws a 3-2 win Tuesday afternoon.
With Leandro Castro on second, Buschini doubled off the wall in left against Grasshoppers reliever Alejandro Ramos (0-3) to give the BlueClaws their first lead of the day at 3-2.
In the ninth, Jacob Diekman (2-0) walked the first two batters he faced without recording an out, giving way to Josh Zeid. One wild pitch and an intentional walk later, the bases were loaded with nobody out and the Grasshoppers had their chance at a comeback.
Zeid managed to get catcher Carlos Paulino to fly out to third for the first out with the tying run staying at third. He then stuck out Jose Torres, and Terrence Dayleg to lock up the win and his second save of the 2010 season in as many days.
With the win the BlueClaws now sit alone atop the Northern Division in the SAL for the first time this season with an 11-9 record.
Both starting pitchers turned in strong performances. Curtis Peterson only gave up a run on two hits in five innings for Greensboro. He was rocked for six runs (four earned) in just 1.1 innings in his last start against the BlueClaws.
Lakewood Starter Jonathan Pettibone had his best outing of the 2010 season, giving up just two runs on six hits in seven innings. Pettibone also struck out seven Grasshoppers without allowing a walk.
Unlike the previous three games in the series the Grasshoppers scored first on Tuesday. With runners on second and third and nobody out, Kyle Jensen grounded out to first to make it 1-0 Greensboro.
The BlueClaws tied the score at one in the fourth on a Leandro Castro sacrifice fly, but the Grasshoppers jumped back ahead 2-1 in the seventh with Chase Austin scoring on a Pettibone wild pitch.
In the top of the 8th Domingo Santana drew a lead off walk against Hoppers reliever Natividad Dilone, and was replaced by pinch runner Jiwan James. Pinch hitter Jonathan Villar then laid down a sacrifice bunt, but Dilone threw the ball away letting James score to tie the game at two.
Buschini then gave Lakewood a 3-2 lead in the ninth, but it took three big outs with the bases loaded by Zeid to seal the win.
ClawsNotes: Wednesday night at 7:05 pm the BlueClaws will take on the Kannapolis Intimidators for the first time this season. RHP Nick Hernandez (2-0 2.57) will start for Lakewood against RHP Matthew Hopps (0-1 6.57).
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