'Claws Draws First Blood In SAL Championship

The first game of the South Atlantic League Championship series between the Lakewood BlueClaws and the Augusta Greenjackets ended with Lakewood winning 2-1. Starter Josh Outman got the win for Lakewood.

Lakewood got on the board first, starting the scoring in the second inning. Clay Harris led off the inning with a walk and John Urick singled to move Harris over to second base. Next up was C.J. Henry, who reached first base on an error that would load the bases. Lou Marson would ground into a force out, but on the play, Harris came in to make it a 1-0 game.

Augusta would get on the board in the fifth inning when Brian Bocock singled to left field and was moved into scoring positon on a ground ball by Anthony Contreras. Antoan Richardson hit a ball to right and Bocock beat Matt Thayer's throw to the plate as the GreenJackets tied the score at 1-1.

The BlueClaws picked up what would be the deciding run in the eighth inning.

With Taylor Wilding taking over on the mound for Augusta. Avelino Asprilla singled with one out. Asprilla's hit was the first for Lakewood since the second inning of the game. Augusta failed to turn a double-play on a ball hit by Mike Spidale, with Asprilla, who was running on the pitch, reaching second. Harris followed with two out single in to center that brought home Asprilla as Lakewood picked up the run that they needed to win the game 2-1.

Josh Outman pitched seven innings, allowing four hits and just one run while striking out six. Reliever Will Savage came in and with two strikeouts and one fly ball, pitched a perfect eighth inning. Brett Harker, Lakewood's closer, came on in the ninth to try and secure the win for the BlueClaws.

Harker allowed a lead-off single to Mike Mooney, but bounced right back to get David Maroul on a fly ball for the first out of the inning. Barry Gunther hit a soft grounder to John Urick who tagged him out, but Mooney moved into scoring position. Harker ended the game by throwing three straight strikes past Pablo Sandoval to pick up the save.

Game two of the best of five series is Tuesday night at 7:05 in Augusta, GA. Carlos Carrasco will start for the BlueClaws.

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