The Lakewood BlueClaws (8-17) jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after one inning of play and handed the Charleston RiverDogs (13-11) their fifth-straight road loss 4-3 Wednesday evening at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood, New Jersey.
The Charleston bats came out sluggish Wednesday after the long trek north to New Jersey. The RiverDogs put two runs on the board in the fifth and a single run in the eighth. Charleston had seven hits all game, with four of them coming from the bats of Greg Bird and Claudio Custodio. The pair were the only RiverDogs to record multiple hits in the game and went a combined 4-for-7 with a walk, a run scored and an RBI.
Making his first start of the season, left-hander Evan Rutckyj struggled out of the gate. Rutckyj allowed six walks before recording his first out in the second inning. Rutckyj eventually dialed in and was able to toss 3.1 innings for the RiverDogs as he allowed two runs on four hits and had two strikeouts. Fellow left-hander Dietrich Enns impressed in his 1.2 innings of perfect relief as he struck-out four of the five batters he faced. Enns was relieved by Vicente Campos (0-1) who made his first relief appearance of this season. Campos' final line was three innings, two runs, four hits and a season high seven strikeouts.
BlueClaws starter Yoel Mecias was impressive after a rocky start to his season. Mecias went 4.2 innings while he allowed two runs on four hits and eight strikeouts. Picking up the win for Lakewood was reliever Miguel Nunez (3-0). Nunez threw 3.1 innings in relief and only allowed one run on two hits. Steven Inch picked up his second save of the year with a scoreless ninth.
Offensively, the BlueClaws were led by their number nine hitter Chace Numata. Numata was a perfect 3-for-3 with two singles, a solo homer and a walk. Centerfielder Carlos Tocci was the only other BlueClaw to record multiple hits. Tocci also came up big defensively for Lakewood, chasing down balls all evening in centerfield.
The RiverDogs and BlueClaws are at it again Thursday evening in game two of their three game set. Charleston will send LHP Daniel Camarena (0-1, 9.00 ERA) to the mound, as Lakewood counters with RHP Nicholas Hanson (0-0, 5.74 ERA). You can listen to the game locally on ESPN Radio 910 AM or online at www.riverdogs.com.