The victory was Lakewood's 80th of the season and guaranteed that the 'Claws (42-27, 80-59) would finish with the best overall record in the South Atlantic League North Division. It is only the second time in franchise history that the BlueClaws have finished with 80 or more wins, joining just the 2006 championship club.
Julian Sampson (11-4) took the win for the 'Claws despite an up-and-down performance. The 19-year old starter matched his career-high with five strikeouts in his five innings, but gave up four runs, all earned, on seven hits.
But Sampson departed with a 5-4 lead and the bullpen did their jobs. Zack Sterner pitched three strong innings in what is likely his final appearance of the season. Sterner did not allow a hit ad struck out two to hand the game over to the closer Jared Simon with a one-run advantage.
Simon made it interesting by allowing two straight two- out hits, but struck out Ryan Adams for his 30th save of the season.
Lakewood was in an early hole after the first inning, as the 'Birds got a pair of runs in the first. Paco Figuera and Tyler Henson each doubled off of Sampson, before Anthony Martinez drove in another run with a base hit.
But the BlueClaws evened it in the top of the second with two runs off of starter Luis Noel. Travis Mattair and Herman Demmink each picked up RBIs off of Noel to tie the game. Noel lasted just four innings in his final start of the season, giving up three runs on four hits.
Derrick Mitchell put Lakewood out front for the first time in the fourth with a leadoff solo home run, his 11th of the season. Andrew Schindling (1-1) took the loss after giving up Rizzotti's long ball in the fifth. Just one game remains in the 2008 season, as first pitch will come at 6:05 p.m. at Perdue Stadium. Chance Chapman (7-6) will make the final start of the season for the BlueClaws, while left-hander Nate Nery (6-3) will go for the Shorebirds (39-30, 77-61).