One for the money…The BlueClaws and the Hickory Crawdads meet tonight in game three of the Northern Division Championship Series tonight at FirstEnergy Park. Greenville gets the winner in a best-of-five series beginning on Monday in South Carolina.
LAK: RHP Jonathan Pettibone (8-6, 3.49)
HIC: RHP Jake Brigham (5-5, 3.51)
Win Or Go Home…This is the first time in their history the BlueClaws are playing an elimination game in the post-season…They swept both Division Championship Series (2006 vs Lexington and 2009 vs Kannapolis) and both Championship Series losses (2006 vs Augusta and 2009 vs Greenville) came when the team led the best-of-five series 2-0…Hickory lost game three of the 2007 Northern Division Championship Series 9-4 to West Virginia.
Hot Hitting…Jeremy Barnes (3-6) and Keoni Ruth (5-9) are the only BlueClaws with hits in each of the first two games of this series…Barnes had a double in the 7th inning on Friday night and Keoni Ruth had a tenth inning double but was stranded at second base when the game ended (Valle 5-5-3 double play)…Jonathan Singleton, with one hit in each of the first two games, is the only other BlueClaws player with two hits in the series.
A Pitcher’s Series…Lakewood is 12-68 (.176) as a team in the series while Hickory is 11-65 (.169)…Leury Garcia and Jared Prince each have four hits for the Crawdads…The rest of the team has three combined.
You Can’t Lose If They Can’t Score…In 14 post-season games (11-3), the BlueClaws have given up a total of 27 runs, 11 in one game (an 11-1 loss to Augusta in game three of the 2006 SAL Championship Series)…In Lakewood’s 11 all-time playoff wins, they have allowed a total of 11 runs.
On Eric Pettis…Pettis threw 1.1 shutout innings in game one of the Northern Division Championship Series…He was a 35th round pick this year out of UC-Irvine who went 8-0, 1.37 with Williamsport…He was second in the NYPL in wins and would have led in ERA but he did not have enough innings to qualify…He opened the season in Williamsport’s rotation (four stats) before moving into the bullpen, where he had seven saves.
7:22: Great start…2 run HR by Valle in the first…2-0 Claws.
7:26: And an RBI single by Barnes makes it 3-0 Claws.
7:44: A couple of loud outs in the 3rd but Pettibone has fanned three and given up just one baserunner through the first three…still 3-0.
7:56: That’s 10 in a row for Pettibone…3-0 to the bottom of the 4th.
8:06: Now 4-0 as Alan Schoenberger grounds an RBI single to right to bring home Brian Gump.
8:22: The 19th batter of the game against Pettibone gets the 1st hit, went 5.2 hitless…4-0 Claws in the 6th.
8:44: 4-0 Lakewood at the stretch…7 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 9 Ks for Pettibone.
8:56: Now 6-0 Lakewood as Schoenberger adds an RBI double and Dabbs a SAC fly in the 7th. Looks like Pettibone’s night is over as Wertz is throwing in the pen…bottom 7.
10:34: Final was in fact 6-0…Great win, onto the Championship Series! Here is the box score.