The Lakewood BlueClaws entered the 2017 season with high hopes, however, Kannapolis had other plans. JoJo Romero got the ball to lead off the season and just as quick as he got it, he gave it up. Romero pitched 4 innings while giving up 4 runs and 8 hits with 5 strikeouts for a 9.00 ERA. Not a great way to start a new year.
Luckily for Romero and the BlueClaws they have bats that can score in bunches.
After Jameson Fisher singled in the bottom of the 2nd to give Kannapolis a 4-0 lead the BlueClaws finally got on the board in the top of the 4th on Darick Hall’s sacrifice fly that scored Daniel Brito, the comeback was officially on. A fielding error by Mitch Roman helped the BlueClaws get within two and a sharp single to right field scored Mickey Moniak to make it 4-3.
At the top of the fifth, the comeback was complete as Moniak and Arquimedez Gamboa scored to take a 5-4 lead.
After Kannapolis tied it in the 6th on a wild pitch by Mauricio Llovera, Alex Wojciechowski’s single in the bottom of the 8th scored Joel Booker to take gibe Lakewood a 6-5 lead. With no lead safe in this game, the BlueClaws needed more insurance for their bullpen and they received it in the on a passed ball that scored Cord Sandberg to make it 7-5.
From there on, it was just concentration on the mound from relievers, Zach Morris (W) and Ismael Cabrera (S) who walked Booker, then struck out Fisher swinging, then two straight flyouts to end the game.
The victory, despite the setbacks in the beginning, was a great way to kick-off the season, especially on the road. The BlueClaws will take the field again Friday night at Intimidators Stadium for the second game of a 4-game set.