The BlueClaws kept their playoff hopes alive with a 2-1, 10-inning win over Hickory on Saturday night.
LAKEWOOD, NJ - Down to their final two outs in the ninth inning, with a loss eliminating the BlueClaws from playoff contention, the BlueClaws tied the game on Raul Rivas' RBI triple. One inning later, Arquimedes Gamboa singled home David Martinelli to keep the BlueClaws alive as Lakewood topped Hickory 2-1 in 10 innings on Saturday night at FirstEnergy Park.
Lakewood entered the last two days of the first half needing two wins and two Kannapolis losses to win the Northern Division First Half Championship, and pulled out their fifth walk-off win of the season to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Gamboa's RBI single came off Kaleb Fontenot (2-2), who took the loss. Martinelli, who is 21-54 in June, singled with one out to start the rally and moved up to second on a base hit by Luke Williams.
Will Hibbs (5-1) earned the win with two scoreless inning in relief.
The BlueClaws tied the game in the bottom of the ninth inning. Raul Rivas' RBI triple off Nick Dignacco drove home Arquimedes Gamboa off reliever Nick Dignacco to tie the game. Rivas, who has eight hits in the last four games, was stranded at third, but forced extra innings.
Hickory starter Kyle Cody was unlucky, throwing eight scoreless innings and allowing one hit with one walk and eight strikeouts. He left with a 1-0 lead but ended up with a no-decision.
Hickory got their run in the first inning off Sixto Sanchez. A pair of singles set them up with runners on the corners, and an Alex Kowalczyk SAC fly gave the Crawdads a 1-0 lead.
Sanchez threw four shutout innings from there, coming out after the fifth. He gave up the one run on five hits with no walks or strikeouts.
The teams finish the first half on Sunday at 1:05 pm. LHP Ranger Suarez (4-2) starts for Lakewood opposite RHP Michael Matuella (0-3, 7.45).
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