Guarantee Fulfilled: BlueClaws Win Number One

Perhaps it was the team guaranteeing fans a win on Saturday that prompted the ‘Claws to win. Maybe it was what was said in the closed door meeting that manager Dave Huppert held Friday night that brought about the win. It could have been that the 2006 Lakewood BlueClaws did not want to go down in team history as having the worst start ever. That distinction is still held by the 2003 team that was managed by Buddy Biancalana.

Some say that the third time is the charm. For the Lakewood BlueClaws, the tenth try was the charm. The BlueClaws won their first game of the season by beating the Delmarva Shorebirds, 8-7 in 13 innings.

The BlueClaws scored early when an RBI by Clay Harris scored Cooper Osteen, who had reached on a double. Starter Josh Outman cruised through the first three innings, but ran into trouble in the fourth. Delmarva would score five runs in that inning.

Heading into the bottom of the ninth the BlueClaws were behind 7-3 and fans thought for sure that they were watching the team lose their tenth straight game. The fans that stuck around got to see a comeback that they will be talking about for years, as the ‘Claws scored four to tie it up and take the game to extra innings. Pitcher Andy Barb came in to pitch the tenth and wound up pitching four innings, allowing only two hits, while striking out five.

In the bottom of the 13th, the BlueClaws had two outs when speedy outfielder Julian Williams walked. Sean Gamble hit a ground ball to right field, which brought Williams in to score the winning run.

Saturday just happened to be "Turn UP the Clock Day" at First Energy Park. The BlueClaws were wearing red batting practice jerseys much like those of their parent club, the Philadelphia Phillies. As Julian Williams crossed home to win the game, he was greeted by his jubilant teammates who gave him a "beat-down" much like the Phillies do when they win in their own dramatic fashion.

Hopefully, the BlueClaws can carry this momentum in to their next series, which begins at home Tuesday the 18th against the Greensboro Grasshoppers.

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