LAKEWOOD, NJ - The Lakewood BlueClaws (20-30/46-71) broke the spell and finally picked up a 3-1 win against the West Virginia Power (32-17/69-50) Sunday evening at FirstEnergy Park. The win marked the only victory for the BlueClaws in the four-game series and improved their record to 4-20 against the Power this season.
For the first time in the series, the BlueClaws hopped out to the early lead over the Power. Art Charles led off the second inning with a double to left-center field and moved to third on a ground out by Mitch Walding.
After Larry Greene, Jr. popped out to third, it was up to Carlos Tocci to bring home the first run. The 17-year old centerfielder roped a grounder up the middle off of Kyle Haynes and put the Claws in front, 1-0.
Miguel Nunez took the mound in his 19th start of the season and turned in one of his best performances. The burly righty walked the leadoff man in the first, but regrouped and retired the next 10 men he faced.
The lone hit for the Power came as a double from Kawika Emsley-Pai with two down in the fifth. Nunez (9-8) polished off his outing by getting Raul Fortunato swinging for the career-high, seventh strikeout of the night.
Haynes (1-3) didn't let the run in the second phase him and he went on to complete the longest outing of his career. The righty worked into the seventh, but walked the leadoff man and gave up another double to Charles to put two on in scoring position with no outs.
He retired the next two hitters before he was lifted for Bryton Trepagnier. Tocci was the first two face the new pitcher and roped another RBI single, this time to left, which plated Willie Carmona and gave the BlueClaws the 2-0 lead.
Lino Martinez was the first arm out of the bullpen used by the Claws and delivered two scoreless innings before Chris Burgess was called upon in the eighth. The righty walked back-to-back hitters with one out and gave up an RBI single to Josh Bell that pulled the Power within one at 2-1.
Bell was caught trying to advance to second on the throw for the second out of the inning and Burgess induced a ground out to second by Jordan Steranka that retired the side and kept the game in favor of Lakewood.
The Claws responded with another run of their own in the bottom of the frame and pushed the lead back up to two runs. With two on and one out, Carmona connected on a line drive to right that plated Angelo Mora from third and made it 3-1.
Lee Ridenhour came on in his second home appearance and tried to lock down his first save in the Sally League. The righty induced a flyout to right by Steranka and struck out Walker Gourley with a sweeping slider. After a walk to Jonathan Schwind, Ridenhour struck out Emsley-Pai looking to end the game.
Deborah Heart and Lung Center Player of the Game: Carlos Tocci (LWD): 2-3, 2 RBI
The BlueClaws will have an off day Monday before they take to the road and travel to Kannapolis, North Carolina to open up a three-game series against the Intimidators. Game one of the series and road trip will feature RHP Jonathan Musser (1-7, 5.35) for the BlueClaws and RHP Kyle Hansen (4-7, 4.21) of the Intimidators.