The Phillies couldn't have asked for more out of 2002 first round draft pick Cole Hamels Tuesday night in his professional debut. Hamels' pitching helped the Lakewood BlueClaws win their second game in a row for just the third time this season as the BlueClaws beat the Savannah Sand Gnats 4-3.
actually thought he could have pitched further into the game, but the Phillies brass were just looking to get his feet wet Tuesday night. Hamels went five innings and allowed just one hit and two walks, while striking out eight batters. "I've been in extended spring training all year, but I just went out and thought of this game the same way," said Hamels. The BlueClaws had a 3-0 lead when Hamels left, meaning he could have recorded the win, but Savannah came back to tie the score off reliever Zach Minor with three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Josh Emmerick's three-run homer gave Savannah their three runs.
The game remained tied until the bottom of the ninth when Tim Gradoville singled home pinch-runner Rod Perry to give Lakewood a 4-3 lead, giving reliever Todd Myers (0-1) the loss. Chris Rupert (1-0), who had worked a scoreless eighth inning did the same in the ninth to get the win for Lakewood. The ninth didn't go easily, as Savannah had runners on first and second with nobody out. A fielder's choice bunt and a double-play groundball ended the threat.
Carlos Rodriguez, Jeremy Isenhower and Mark McRoberts each had two hits for Lakewood. McRoberts had a double and homerun to drive in two runs.
Left-hander Nick Bourgeois (1-1) will start Wednesday night for Lakewood against Savannah's Michael Hinckley (2-1).