LAKEWOOD, N.J. – Despite a third straight strong outing from Luis Medina and another standout performance from Canaan Smith at the plate, the Lakewood BlueClaws came from behind to hand Charleston their third consecutive loss, 4-3, on Wednesday evening at FirstEnergy Park.
Hanahan, South Carolina product Seth Lancaster played hero for the BlueClaws (41-60, 12-19) on the night, tying the game with a two-run home run after an 11-pitch battle with Charlie Ruegger (L, 2-1) in the eighth and scoring the game’s winning run on a walk-off single by Malvin Matos in the tenth. The Coastal Carolina product stole second to put himself into scoring position after the BlueClaws saw their runner that opened the inning on second cut down at third on a perfect wheel play run by the Charleston (50-53, 13-20) defense.
The RiverDogs have now dropped each of their last four road contests this year and six-in-a-row at FirstEnergy Park dating back to the 2017 season. The RiverDogs fell to 2-8 in extra innings contests this year. They have been outscored 19-6 beyond the ninth inning this season.
Luis Medina set the tone early, settling in after allowing an early run to go 5 2/3 innings. Despite allowing a leadoff runner in four of the first five innings and issuing four walks total, the 20-year-old fireballer did not allow a run after the opening frame and struck out seven on the evening, coming up one out shy of a third straight quality start (6.0+ innings, 3 ER or less).
The RiverDogs retook the lead in the fourth when Mickey Gasper laced a 3-1 offering into center field to score Smith. The RiverDogs’ left fielder reached earlier in the inning on a single to continue his tear on the series. The Rockwall, Texas native is now 5-for-6 with a pair of RBI. The only out he’s made in the series was a ground out to second that scored Oswald Peraza to put the RiverDogs on the board in the first. The former fourth-round selection is now batting .400 (26-65) in the month of July.
In the seventh, third baseman Oliver Dunn capitalized on a one-out error that put Welfrin Mateo aboard to extend the lead to 3-1 with an RBI single.