Lakewood Continues Improved Second-Half

The Lakewood BlueClaws have shown definite improvement in the second-half of their season. Thursday, they beat Augusta 3-1 to split their four-game series.

The Lakewood BlueClaws continued their improved second half with a 3-1 win over the Augusta GreenJackets in front of 7,235 fans at FirstEnergy Park. Brad Overton got the win for Lakewood, improving to 1-1 on the season and Gary Galvez fell to 6-8 on the year for Augusta.

BlueClaw starter Scott Mathieson left the game after pitching three innings as a precautionary measure for a stiff back. After the game, Lakewood pitching coach Tom Filer said that it was just a precautionary move and that Mathieson was unable to get his back loose while he was in the bullpen warming up. Blue Claw manager P.J. Forbes said, "He's [Mathieson] a competitor, a battler, a gamer. I know he's probably disappointed." Forbes added that the main focus though is to make sure that Mathieson doesn't miss a start and stays healthy the rest of the way.

After Overton came on behind Mathieson and held Augusta off the board in the fourth, the BlueClaws rallied for their only offense of the game. Michael Bourn led off the inning with a single to right and stole second to move into scoring position. Jake Blalock launched a double to the left center field gap that scored Bourn to give Lakewood a 1-0 lead. The double was Blalock's 36th, setting a new Lakewood franchise record. One out later, Randy Ruiz singled to left to score Blalock and extend the BlueClaws lead to 2-0. Timi Moni, recently called up from Batavia, notched his first South Atlantic League hit to score Ruiz and give Lakewood a 3-0 lead.

Augusta came back with one of their own in the top of the fifth. Mitch Stachowsky, a 50th round draft pick, reached on an error by BlueClaw third baseman Omar Bramasco to start the inning. Two batters later, Zach Borowiak singled to left and advanced Stachowsky to third. Stachowsky scored when the next batter, Brett LeVier, hit a swinging bunt that trickled down the third base line. Overton pitched out of the jam with no further damage and preserved the BlueClaws lead.

The BlueClaws bullpen made the 3-1 lead stand up on the strength of Overton, Dan Hodges, and Maximo Reyes. After Augusta scored their run in the fifth, the GreenJackets weren't able to mount any more threats.

Carlos Rodriguez made his 41th error of the season in the second on a groundball off the bat of Justin McClain. The error moved Rodriguez to within two of the BlueClaw all-time record for errors in a season. That ignominious record is held by Scott Youngbauer who committed 43 errors in 2001.

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