LAKEWOOD, NJ - Jagger Rusconi broke a 5-5 tie with an eight inning home run as Greenville topped the BlueClaws 6-5 on Thursday night at FirstEnergy Park.
The teams have split the first two games of their three-game series. The BlueClaws (20-14) remain a half-game ahead of Hagerstown in the Northern Division while Greenville (21-11) is two games up on Rome in the South. Lakewood has still won nine of their last 11 games.
Rusconi's home run, his first professional home run, came off Ismael Cabrera (2-1). Stephen Nogosek got the last six outs for his league-leading eight save.
In the ninth, the BlueClaws had two on with two out after an intentional walk to Henri Lartigue, who had been 4-4 going into the ninth. However, after the free pass, Luke Williams lined out to left field to end the game.
Kyle Hart (1-0), who threw two scoreless innings in relief, earned the win.
The BlueClaws scored four runs in the first inning off Shaun Anderson, including a two-run single by Darick Hall and an RBI single by Lartigue.
The Drive responded with three runs in the second inning. Mitchell Gunsolus' two-run double and Jerry Downs' RBI groundout brought the Drive within 4-3. The three runs Suarez gave up in the second inning matched the three earned runs he allowed in his first 30 innings of the season.
Lakewood added a run on a Luke Williams third inning SAC fly for a 5-3 lead, but Greenville catcher Roldani Baldwin hit a two-run sixth inning home run off Ranger Suarez to tie the game at five.
Suarez came out after six, allowing a season-high five runs while striking out five and walking two.
Anderson exited after five innings, allowing five runs, four earned.
The series with the Drive wraps up on Friday night at 7:05 pm. RHP Adonis Medina (0-2) starts for Lakewood opposite RHP Mike Shawaryn (2-1).
- BlueClaws -
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.