LAKEWOOD, NJ - It was not to be. Lakewood entered Sunday needing a win and a Kannapolis loss to win the first half South Atlantic League Northern Division title. They went 1 for 2.
Darick Hall broke a 1-1 tie with a two-run double in the eighth to give the BlueClaws a 4-1 win over Hickory, but Kannapolis knocked off West Virginia 5-3 to win the league's Northern Division First Half Championship.
The teams finished "tied," but Kannapolis (39-29) defeats Lakewood (40-30) on winning percentage. The Intimidators had two games cancelled that will not be made up.
Hall drove in three runs for the BlueClaws and led the league in the first half with 49, including 44 in his last 44 games. He brought home Arquimedes Gamboa and Raul Rivas to give the BlueClaws a 3-1 lead in the eighth. Henri Lartigue's RBI single drove in Hall for the final margin.
Trevor Bettencourt (3-1) threw 3.1 scoreless innings of relief to earn the win.
The BlueClaws ended the first half by winning their last six games, but fell just short of reaching the playoffs for the fifth time in team history.
Each team scored in the first inning. Hickory got a run on an RBI single by Leody Taveras and Darick Hall doubled in the tying run in the bottom of the first inning.
Lakewood starter Ranger Suarez came out after 5.2 innings, allowing one run on seven hits and did not factor in the decision. The left-hander finishes the first half with an ERA of just 1.92, the third best in the league.
Hickory's Reid Anderson (1-3) took the loss, allowing two runs in three innings of relief.
The BlueClaws will start the second half on Thursday at Delmarva.
- BlueClaws -
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.