SALISBURY, MD -The Lakewood BlueClaws swept a doubleheader from the Delmarva Shorebirds Monday night.
Sebastian Valle picked the perfect time to end his month-long power outage. The BlueClaws catcher hit his first home run since June 16th in the top of the tenth to lead Lakewood (19-11) to a 4-3 win in the first game.
It was Valle’s tenth homer of the season, and finally brought an end to what was supposed to be a shortened seven inning game.
Luke Wertz (4-1) threw two scorleess innings for the win.
Michael Dabbs walked and Stephen Batts singled to start the fourth, and after a Jeremy Barnes sac bunt Anthony Hewitt reached on a fielder’s choice to make it a 1-0 game.
One out later, Jiwan James delivered a two-run triple to push Lakewood’s lead to 3-0.
Delmarva (15-15) dug themselves out from the three-run hole thanks to some timely hitting and lucky breaks.
They caught their first break in the bottom of the fourth. With runners on the corners and two outs, Mike Flacco was caught in a rundown off third, but catcher Sebastian Valle’s errant throw allowed Flacco to score and cut the Claws lead to 3-1.
The Birds then tied the game in the ninth thanks to some sloppy Lakewood defense. Runners were on first and second with one out when Omar Casamayor grounded a ball to Jonathan Singleton, whose throw to second was dropped for an error by Jonathan Villar as a run scored to make it 3-2.
One batter later, Kieron Pope hit a grounder to pitcher Ebelin Lugo that could have been a double play, but Lugo dropped the ball before he could get it out of his glove letting the tying run cross home to force extra innings.
In game two, Julio Rodriguez wasted no time picking up where he left off with the BlueClaws, despite more than a month away from the team. He struck out ten in six shutout innings, as the Claws dominated Delmarva 5-0 to help sweep a doubleheader Monday night.
Rodriguez (3-0) went 2-0 with a 3.12 ERA in four starts with the BlueClaws earlier this season. He posted solid numbers, 2-2, 2.65, in five starts with short season Williamsport before being called back up.
While Rodriguez held the Birds (15-16) bats at bay, Jiwan James anchored the offense.
The BlueClaws (20-11) jumped ahead early, plating three runs in the second. With the bases loaded and one out, Anthony Hewitt walked in the first run of the game. From there on out James carried the offense.
James’ single with two outs and the bases still loaded made it 3-0. He added an RBI single in the fourth, and an RBI groundout in the sixth to complete a big night at the plate and give Lakewood a 4-0 lead.
Delmarva starter Cole McCurry was chased in the second. After retiring the first three batters he faced, he only recorded two more outs, allowing three runs (two earned), walking three, and striking out four.
Shorebirds first baseman TJ Baxter, a Point Pleasant native, pitched the top of the seventh and managed to get Sebastian Valle to ground into a 4-6-3 double play to cap a scoreless inning.
Tuesday at 7:05 pm RHP Trevor May (2-1, 4.09) will face Shorebirds RHP Kenny Moreland (6-3, 2.97).
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