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BlueClaws escape with Game 1 win09/07/2006 4:36 AM ET
By Michael Echan / Special to MLB.com
LAKEWOOD, N.J. -- John Urick singled in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the eighth inning Wednesday as the Lakewood BlueClaws edged the Lexington Legends, 2-1, in the opener of their South Atlantic League playoff series.
Michael Spidale opened the decisive frame with a full-count walk off reliever Nick Cavanaugh. Southpaw Jake Hurry came in to face left-handed-hitting Jeremy Slayden, and before throwing his first pitch, balked Spidale to second. Spidale then moved to third on Slayden's flyout to center.
Clay Harris was walked intentionally to put runners on the corners with one out, before Urick ripped a first-pitch slider from Hurry to center, scoring Spidale with the go-ahead run.
"I had only seen him once before, so I didn't know what he had," Urick said. "I just went up there, looking for a pitch to hit. I knew I just had to have at least a good at-bat since the game was on the line. I wanted to get it done early in the count and luckily, it was the first pitch and it was right there."
Will Savage (1-0) picked up the win by retiring the last two batters in the eighth. Brett Harker tossed a 1-2-3 ninth to get the save.
"(The win) definitely takes a lot of pressure off us now," Savage said. "When you're in a three-game series, that first game is so crucial."
Lakewood starter Carlos Carrasco gave up a run on six hits, two walks and two hit batters while fanning four in 7 1/3 frames. He admitted he was a little excited at the start of the game, but felt better after getting Pedro Espinoza to ground into an inning-ending double play in the second.
"I felt good out there," Carrasco said. "I had command of my fastball, breaking ball and changeup. That double play really helped me out, get calmed down."
Lexington reached Carrasco in the eighth when Nathan Warrick drew a leadoff walk and went to second on Joshua Flores' sacrifice bunt. Eli Iorg's single past shortstop C.J. Henry scored Warrick with the tying run.
Cavanaugh (0-1) took the loss, giving up a run on a walk in 1 2/3 frames while striking out three.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.