HICKORY, N.C. – The BlueClaws took an early lead Thursday night and pulled away late, topping Hickory 7-3.
The win keeps Lakewood (34-25) 2.5 games up in the Northern Division. Hickory’s loss and Greensboro’s win moves the Hoppers into sole possession of second place, with the Crawdads 3.5 back.
While Hickory (30-28) jumped ahead early on Wednesday, it was the BlueClaws who gained the early edge on Thursday.
With one out Michael Dabbs singled, Jonathan Singleton walked, and Jeremy Barnes hit a two out double to put the first run on the board. Stephen Batts next hit a two run single for a 3-0 Lakewood lead.
Hickory came right back in the bottom of the first against Josh Zeid with two of their own. Travis Adair hit a leadoff solo shot, and Zach Zaneski hit a sac-fly to cut the Claws lead to one.
Lakewood added an insurance run in the third. After a Singleton leadoff triple Sebastian Valle grounded out to bring him in. In the fourth, Anthony Hewitt started the inning with his ninth homer of the season to push the lead to 5-2.
Leury Garcia hit an RBI single in the fourth to make it a 5-3 game, but that was as close as the ‘Dads would get.
Kyle Lafrenz took a foul ball off the foot to start the ninth, but on the next pitch picked up a base hit. He then stole second, and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Alan Schoenberger singled him in for a 6-3 edge.
Jiwan James then singled, but Schoenberger was gunned down at third with James advancing on the throw. James then stole third, and came home on a Dabbs fielder’s choice groundout.
Josh Zeid improved to 7-4 with the win, letting up just three runs in six innings. Mike McGuire recorded the last four outs for his fourth save.
Friday at 7:00 pm RHP Jonathan Pettibone (6-6, 3.57) will face Hickory RHP Brandon Tullis (6-1, 3.64).
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