LAKEWOOD – The Lakewood BlueClaws fell 9-2 in the season opener to the Kannapolis Intimidators Thursday night at FirstEnergy Park. The loss sends the BlueClaws to 2-11 all time in home openers.
Righty Jordan Guth got the opening night nod for Mickey Morandini’s ballclub. He struggled out of the gate and allowed six runs over the first two frames. Left fielder Kale Kiser delivered a three-run double as part of a five-run second that put the Intimidators in front 6-0.
Guth (0-1) finished three innings and allowed six runs, on five hits, four walks, and one strikeout. He wasn’t helped by his defense as the BlueClaws committed three errors across the first two frames, two by Roman Quinn, which led to three unearned runs.
Micah Johnson scored the first run of the season for Kannapolis scoring on an infield single, after he walked, stole second and moved to third on a throwing error by BlueClaws catcher Chace Numata.
On the other side of the rubber, it was Myles Jaye (1-0) who kept the Lakewood offense at bay in the opener. The righty pitched two scoreless frames before the BlueClaws picked up a run in the next two innings respectively.
Art Charles brought home the first run of the season with a bases loaded sacrifice fly to left in the bottom of the third inning that plated Quinn and put the BlueClaws deficit at 6-1. In the fourth, Numata split the gap with a double to left-center, on which Mitch Walding scored and pulled Lakewood within four.
That would be as close as Lakewood would get as the Kannapolis offense picked up two runs in the fifth off of righty Nicholas Hanson and another in the seventh off of Jeb Stefan increasing the score to the final tally of 9-2.
Deborah Heart and Lung Center Player of the Game: Mitch Walding 2-for-2, R, 2 BB
The Lakewood BlueClaws and Kannapolis Intimidators are scheduled to square off again, Friday night at 7:05 at FirstEnergy Park. The Intimidators will send RHP Euclides Leyer (0-0, -.–) to the mound and the BlueClaws will counter with RHP Josh Warner (0-0, -.–). Tickets are still available for the game, which will feature a post-game fireworks show, and includes the silent auctions for the Restore the Shore jerseys.
About the BlueClaws
The BlueClaws are the Jersey Shore’s top stop for affordable, family entertainment. They have led the South Atlantic League in attendance in all 12 years of existence.