Ninth Inning Rally Ends BlueClaws Streak

Mike Conroy's sacrifice fly scored Brad Snyder with the game-winning run to complete a four-run rally in the bottom half of the ninth inning to lift Lake County to an 8-7 comeback win over Lakewood Monday night at Eastlake Ballpark in Ohio. The BlueClaws dropped to 20-23 and lost a three-game win streak, while the Captains won their third straight game and a second consecutive contest with a ninth inning rally.

Chris Honsa retired the home team in order in the eighth inning but was lifted in the ninth after walking Micah Schilling and Chris De La Cruz and giving up a base hit to Ricardo Rojas to load the bases with nobody out. Kyle Parcus took over and gave up a single to Snyder that plated Schilling and De La Cruz to trim the Lakewood lead to 7-6. Ryan Goleski struck out before Kevin Kouzmanoff doubled into left field to chase home Rojas with the tying and send Snyder to third. Conroy, who had been hitless in his first four at-bats, lofted a fly ball to center field that was caught by Michael Bourn but his throw to the plate was not in time to cut down Snyder, who slid across the plate with the decisive run. Kouzmanoff had belted a two-run home run in the first inning and a leadoff long ball in the sixth to help the Captains fashion a 4-1 lead.

The BlueClaws had been limited to a single run on three hits over the first six innings by Jeff D'Amico, making a rehabilitation start, and Aaron Laffey. However, things changed dramatically in the seventh, as the visitors posted five runs on seven hits to take a 6-4 lead. Marc Tugwell started the rally with a leadoff double and scored on a base hit by Jose Cortez that sliced the Captains lead to 4-2. Carlos Rodriguez followed with a home run to left field, his fourth of the year, to tie the score and knock Laffey out of the game. Nelson Hiraldo took over and gave up a double to Omar Bramasco, the first hitter he faced, on a ball that was lost in the lights in center field by Snyder. One out later, Michael Bourn doubled to drive in Bramasco with the go-ahead run, stole third and scored on a two-out infield by Randy Ruiz to make it 6-4 Lakewood.

Bourn tripled with one out in the ninth and scored when Jake Blalock followed with a double to push the BlueClaws advantage to 7-4. It was Bourn's second three-base hit of the night and he matched a franchise record set on May 8 when Javon Moran triple twice in a game at Charleston (WV). The BlueClaws missed on three great chances to score early in the game, including when Blalock struck out and Ruiz flied out following Bourn's one-out triple in the first. Moran and Bourn fanned with Rodriguez at third and one out in the third and Omar Bramasco struck out and Moran grounded out with Rodriguez at third and one out in the fifth after his infield single scored Tugwell with the BlueClaws first run of the night.

Bramasco singled in four at-bats to push his hitting streak to nine, while Ruiz extended his hitting streak to eight games with a single in five tries. Rodriguez picked up two hits and has hit safely in seven in a row and 15 out of the last 16 games he has played in and Blalock pushed his hitting streak to six with one hit in four at-bats. The BlueClaws have now totaled 65 runs on 94 hits in winning four out of six on the eight-game road trip.

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