SALISBURY, MD - The Lakewood BlueClaws patched together a ninth inning rally to sneak by the Delmarva Shorebirds 7-4 on Tuesday night at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.
Going into the ninth tied at 4-4, the BlueClaws (8-16, 37-57) pounced. Seth Lancaster doubled to right to start off the inning and was then sacrificed to third by Malvin Matos. With the infield in, Ben Pelletier muscled a jam-shot single to center to give Lakewood the lead. Yerwin Trejo then pinch-ran for Pelletier and moved to second on a Jonathan Guzman single. A wild pitch allowed both runners to move into scoring position, which Rafael Marchan capitalized on with a sacrifice fly, scoring Trejo and moving Guzman to third. Another wild pitch brought Guzman home, giving Lakewood the 7-4 lead.
Michael Gomez (1-0) earned the win in relief for the BlueClaws, firing three one-hit shutout innings with no walks and three strikeouts. Felix Bautista (1-1) took the loss for the Shorebirds (18-8, 66-29), allowing three runs in an inning of work on three hits, one walk, and one strikeout.
Delmarva struck for a run in the first for the second straight night. Adam Hall clobbered a solo homer, his fourth of the year, to put the Shorebirds ahead 1-0.
Lakewood pushed two across without the benefit of a hit to take the lead in the third. Malvin Matos drew a one-out walk and Ben Pelletier was then hit by a pitch. Jonathan Guzman worked a walk to load the bases, and Rafael Marchan walked as well to force home a run and tie the game. A fielder's choice off the bat of Luis Garcia brought home a second run, giving the BlueClaws a 2-1 lead.
Carlos De La Cruz launched his second homer in as many days, a solo shot to left center, to extend the Lakewood lead to 3-1 in the fourth. The BlueClaws then manufactured a run to begin the sixth. McCarthy Tatum drew a leadoff walk and then stole second base. Abrahan Gutierrez followed him with an RBI single to left, pushing Lakewood's lead up to 4-1.
Delmarva responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the sixth. Edison Lantigua singled to open the inning and after a flyout Jaylen Ferguson drew a walk. Adam Hall followed with a single to load the bases. Robert Neustrom made good on the situation with a sacrifice fly, cutting the deficit to 4-2.
A seventh inning rally tied the game up for the Shorebirds. Jean Carlos Encarnacion and Ryne Ogren singled to start out the inning and Lantigua walked to load the bases. Cody Roberts then rolled a grounder to third that ate up Tatum, allowing a run to score and keeping the bases loaded. After a pitching change brought Garcia in for Lakewood, Ferguson then bounced into a run-scoring double play, tying the game at 4-4, and setting up the BlueClaws' rally in the ninth.
Hall pieced together his 32nd multi-hit game for Delmarva, going 2-for-4 with a solo homer. Ogren also had multiple hits, finishing 2-for-4 with a run scored. The duo had four of the six hits for the Shorebirds.
Marchan went hitless for Lakewood, but still managed to drive in two runs with a bases loaded walk and sacrifice fly. Matos and Lancaster each contributed a double and a run scored while Pelletier chipped in a hit and an RBI.
Hector Guance started for the Shorebirds and lasted just 2.2 innings, allowing two runs on no hits and three walks while striking out three in a no-decision. Guance saw his streak of seven starts in a row of at least five innings come to an end.
James McArthur dominated in his start for Lakewood but did not factor into the decision. McArthur went five innings, allowing just one run on one hit and one walk while striking out two and retiring the final 13 batters he faced.
The Shorebirds engage the BlueClaws in a rubber game on Wednesday night. Nick Vespi (5-4, 3.33) goes for Delmarva while Lakewood hands the ball to Rafi Gonell (2-1, 4.85). First pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. with gates opening at 6:00. Wednesday at Perdue Stadium is a Silver Sluggers Game presented by Peninsula Home Care with the first 1,000 fans getting the chance to play Baseball Bingo. Pregame coverage on Fox Sports 960 AM and the MiLB First Pitch App begins at 6:50 with Will DeBoer and Sam Jellinek on the call.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.