Late Rally Not Enough For Lakewood

Even with the excitement of raising the 2006 South Atlantic League championship banner, there wasn't enough momentum to carry the Lakewood BlueClaws to an opening night win.

On a cold windy night in Lakewood the BlueClaws dropped their opener 11-7 to the Greensboro Grasshoppers. The BlueClaws fell behind 9-0 in the first inning, but made the game somewhat interesting with a late rally.

Lakewood starter, Carlos Monasterios failed to make it out of the first inning. Monasterios struggled with his control and Greensboro took full advantage, scoring nine first inning runs; seven of which were charged to Monasterios on five hits and one walk. Justin Blaine relieved Monasterios limiting the damage and throwing four scoreless innings before being relieved in the sixth.

The Grasshoppers scored two more in the sixth making it an 11-0 game before the BlueClaws bats came alive.

Lakewood got on the board in the sixth with a run and then put together a rally in the eighth, scoring six runs in the inning, highlighted by C.J. Henry's two-out two-run single making the score 11-7. Henry finished the game 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. The BlueClaws had the tying run on deck in the ninth, but Designated Hitter Jay Miller flied out to leftfield to end the game at 11-7.

Graham Taylor picked up the win for Greensboro going six innings, allowing one run on four hits. Carlos Monasterios took the loss for the Blueclaws.

In the loss, BlueClaws' centerfielder, Julian Williams reached base safely for the 51st straight regular season home game, drawing a walk in the eighth to extend the streak. With the 0-1 start the BlueClaws have a long way to go to match last years early season struggles when they opened the season with nine straight losses before turning things around and capturing the South Atlantic League title.

Prior to Thursday night's game, the BlueClaws raised the championship flag and despite the poor weather, a crowd of 6,625 celebrated the 2006 SAL championship.

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