The BlueClaws pulled out a 4-3 win over Kannapolis on Friday in the first game of a three-game series against the Intimidators.
KANNAPOLIS, NC - Will Hibbs got out of jams in both the seventh and ninth innings and the right-hander earned his 17th save by getting the last eight outs of a BlueClaws 4-3 win over Kannapolis on Friday night at Intimidators Stadium.
Hibbs came on in the seventh and got out of a jam where he inherited runners on second and third with just one out. Then in the ninth, the first two batters reached, but Hibbs got two strikeouts and then got Jake Burger to ground out to third to end the game.
In the process, Hibbs earned his league-leading 17th save of the season. Six of his 17 saves have been at least six out saves.
Lakewood (28-33/68-63) takes the first of the three-game series with Kannapolis (26-35/65-64) while the BlueClaws have now won three of the first four games on their final road trip of the season.
The BlueClaws opened the scoring in the third inning on a SAC fly by Daniel Brito to give the BlueClaws a 1-0 lead. Lakewood extended the lead in the fourth, scoring on an RBI double by Jesus Alastre and a wild pitch, allowing Colby Fitch to score and give the BlueClaws a 3-0 lead.
Kannapolis responded with two in the fourth off Nick Fanti. After a lead-off walk to Jake Burger, Gavin Sheets doubled him in. Mitch Roman folowed with an RBI single to cut the lead to 3-2. AFter a fly out by Zach Remillard, the umpires ruled that Roman, who tagged and went to third, left early when advancing and he wa scalled out. Kannapolis manager Justin Jirschle argued the call and was ejected.
Lakewood starter Nick Fanti came out after 5.2 innings, allowing two runs. He would earn the win, improving to 8-2. Kannapolis starter Dylan Cease (0-7) struck out a career-high 10 but gave up three runs, two earned, in six innings and took the loss.
Jesus Alastre extended Lakewood's lead to 4-2 with a single in the top of the seventh.
In the bottom half of the inning, Kannapolis got a run and had runners on second on third with one out when BlueClaws manager Marty Malloy summoned Will Hibbs. Hibbs struck out Jake Burger and then got Gavin Sheets to ground out to end the inning. Alastre had three hits for the BlueClaws while Raul Rivas added two in the win.
The BlueClaws and Intimidators continue their series on Saturday night at 7:05 pm. RHP Felix Paulino (4-9) starts for Lakewood opposite RHP Luis Martinez (8-1).
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