Lakewood One Win From SAL Title

Jesus Sanchez, Austin Hyatt and Santo Hernandez combined to pitch a shutout and the Lakewood BlueClaws bats came alive at the right time in a 3-0 victory in game two of the South Atlantic League Championship Series. The win gives the BlueClaws a 2-0 series lead in a best-of-five series.

Early on, game two of the South Atlantic League Championship was a pitchers' duel between starters Jesus Sanchez and Caleb Clay, who went through the top of the fifth without allowing a run to cross the plate. Sanchez worked six full scoreless and worked out of a few jams, but pitched phenomenally in his first start since September 7th. Sanchez allowed three hits and struck out five.

Clay hadn't allowed a hit through 4 2/3 and had only thrown 40 pitches through four, but Jeremy Hamilton singled with two outs, as did Brian Gump, before Troy Hanzawa doubled, scoring Hamilton as the BlueClaws took a 1-0 lead.

Lakewood added to their lead in the sixth as the inning began with an error on a ball hit by Travis Mattair. Will Middlebrooks, the Drive's third baseman, airmailed his throw to first to put a runner on before a single by Anthony Gose and an RBI-single by Harold Garcia scored a run. The BlueClaws then loaded the bases with nobody out, but only brought in one run on a pitch that hit Sebastian Valle, making it 3-0.

Clay went five full, and allowed five hits and three runs, two earned. Lance McClain came in to finish that inning.

After Sanchez, Austin Hyatt came on to pitch the seventh and eighth and he worked them easily, striking out four and allowing two baserunners. Santo Hernandez, the BlueClaws closer, came on to pitch the ninth. Hernandez allowed two hits, but retired the side without allowing a run. It's his third save of the postseason.

Garcia had an RBI-single in the sixth and now has an RBI in all four playoff games.

Phillies third baseman Greg Dobbs played for the BlueClaws on a rehab assignment and led off. He played five innings in the field and went 0-for-2, grounding out to short to lead off the game and reached on an error in the fourth.

The series will now shift to Greenville, S.C. for the final three games of the series, if necessary. After an off day on Wednesday to travel, the two teams will meet again on Thursday at 7:05 pm. The BlueClaws will send Trevor May (4-1), who threw six scoreless innings in game two of the Divisional Series against Kannapolis to the mound in game three. He will be opposed by Stolmy Pimentel (10-7). The final two games of the series, if necessary, would be played on Friday and Saturday at 7:05 pm.

You can follow the remaining games of the Championship Series online at

Philly Baseball Insider Top Stories