The Lakewood BlueClaws were able to overcome a four-run deficit not just once, but twice on Friday at Classic Park, taking a wild 13-8 victory over Lake County. Lakewood trailed 4-0 and 8-4 in the game, but scored 13 runs over the final three innings, four in each the seventh and eighth and five in the ninth, to capture a come-from-behind win.
The 'Claws put up four runs in the top of the seventh to tie the game, 4-4, but relinquished all their momentum by allowing Lake County to score four runs in the bottom half of the inning.
But Lakewood's offense got right back to the job at hand, scoring four runs in the eighth and five in the ninth to pull off the relatively comfortable victory. The BlueClaws used three home runs to rally back and eventually take the lead.
Derrick Mitchell had what went down as the game- winning hit, knocking in T.J. Warren from third base in the ninth inning. Dominic Brown followed with a two- run home run to give the BlueClaws some breathing room.
Surprisingly, only three BlueClaws hitters had multi-hit performances. Brown finished 2-for-3 with the home run, Matt Rizzotti tallied four singles in five at bats, and Travis Mattair went 2-for-4, finishing just a triple shy of the cycle. Mattair's eighth inning home run tied the game, 8-8, and was his first of the year. He drove in four runs in the game.
Karl Bolt also went deep in the eighth, cutting the Lake County lead to 8-6.
The big comeback seemed unlikely after a dominating first six inning by Lake County starter Kelvin De La Cruz. The southpaw gave up just one hit over his time on the hill, striking out three.
But the bullpen could not duplicate their starter's success. Josh Judy and Joanniel Montero (0-1) each struggled, giving up all 13 BlueClaws runs.
Sergio Escalona (2-1) took the win for the BlueClaws, accomplishing what Jacob Diekman and Yen-Feng Lin could not. Lin especially labored, allowing all three batters he faced in the seventh inning to reach base without recording an out.
Diekman did survive six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits in that time. He departed trailing 4-0, but did not factor in the decision.
The BlueClaws look to close the series and the eight- game road trip with a victory on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. Chance Chapman (2-4) will make the start for Lakewood, while Ryan Morris (6-0) will take the hill for Lake County.