The Wilmington Blue Rocks, operating within their recent up-and-down pattern, were down again on Tuesday, July 26, against the Jersey Shore BlueClaws, who took the game 8-1.
The BlueClaws began to set themselves up for success within the first inning. Third baseman and leadoff hitter Freylin Minyety was the first to get on base for the team and were more than prepared to run home on a home run down center field by left fielder Carlos De La Cruz.
The Blue Rocks’ scoreboard was silent in the first and second innings, leaving room for the BlueClaws to make even more noise at the top of the third. Shortstop Casey Martin got the scoring started during this inning, hitting an RBI single to send Minyety home. With two outs recorded and the bases loaded, Blue Rocks starting pitcher Dustin Saenz hit Rixon Wingrove with a pitch to send De La Cruz around home plate. This was the second BlueClaws batter that Saenz hit in the third inning.
Herbert Iser kept up the momentum for Jersey Shore, hitting a fly ball down the center to score Martin, Jared Carr, and Wingrove, moving the score 7-0.
Finally, in the fourth inning, the Wilmington Blue Rocks could see some progress off of a ground out by first baseman Leandro Emiliani that scored Yasel Antuna and marked the only Blue Rocks run of the night.
To set their lead in stone, the Jersey Shore BlueClaws tallied one additional run in the bottom of the ninth on an RBI double by D.J. Stewart to send in Baron Radcliff, who had replaced Wingrove in the bottom of the fourth and set the score 8-1.
BlueClaws starting pitcher Matthews Russell was granted the win for his 55 strikes over 92 pitches. Saenz was handed the loss after he hit two batters and threw 39 strikes over 52 pitches.
The Wilmington Blue Rocks will return, hopefully up once more, on Wednesday, July 27, with the first pitch at 11:05 a.m. for a midweek matinee.