Lakewood BlueClaws
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After a strong start to the season, the Lakewood BlueClaws have fallen to a .500 record. After four series in the books, the Low-A affiliates of the Philadelphia Phillies sit with a 7-7 record. Their seventh loss of the season came on Wednesday when they fell to the Hagerstown Sun. Wednesday’s game marked the second set of games the Claws and Sun faced off. During the first week of the young season, Lakewood hit the road, where they lost three games in Hagerstown. The series that just concluded, was played at home at FirstEnergy Park. The Claws dropped two of three, with the opener being the only one that saw them come out on top. As a result of their troubles with the Sun, Lakewood sits in a four-way tie for second in the Northern Division of the South Atlantic League. The Sun sit atop the division, mainly thanks to their 5-1 record against the BlueClaws, with a 9-5 overall record. The Claws 7-7 record is identical to Delmarva, Greensboro and West Virginia. The clustered standings will make the upcoming seven-game road trip even more crucial. The team will begin a four-game set at West Virginia against the Power, who are affiliates of the Pittsburgh Pirates, tonight at 7:05 pm EST. Ranger Suarez will be taking the hill for the BlueClaws, looking to earn his first win of the young season. The following three games will see Adonis Medina, Nick Fanti and Bailey Falter toe the rubber. This will be the first time the two teams face off in 2017. The Claws will then close their road trip with a three-game series in Delmarva, starting Monday, April 24th. The team then returns home on Thursday, April 27th against Kannapolis at 6:35 pm EST. While the record is not as great as the club would like at this point, there certainly has been some positives they can point to. Chief among them is the production of number 21, Daniel Brito, who is the team’s second baseman. Brito is currently hitting .357 with three homers, nine RBIs and three stolen bases. There have only been two games in which Brito has not recorded a hit. The 19-year-old from Venezuela is in the top two for most offensive numbers on the club. He is joined by outfielder Mickey Moniak, the first overall pick from a year ago. Moniak has not disappointed to open the season. His .283 average is third best on the roster, while he leads the team with 11 RBIs and four stolen bases. Be sure to keep an eye on both of these young talents when you head to the ballpark this season. If they keep producing like they are now, they won’t be in Lakewood too long, as they are poised to climb the ladder. Be sure to check back here at INSC throughout the season, as we will be bringing you coverage of the BlueClaws all year.

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