LAKEWOOD, N.J. (June 3, 2023) — For the second time in four days, the BlueClaws bested the Cyclones en route to a doubleheader sweep. Jersey Shore captured the opener, 3-2, in eight innings, and secured the finale by the same final, 3-2, over Brooklyn on Saturday evening at ShoreTown Ballpark.
Jersey Shore (27-22) jumped in front first in the lid-lifter. LF Jared Carr reached on an infield single to start the inning and advanced to second on a wild pitch. After taking third on a ground out, CF Marcus Lee Sang put the BlueClaws ahead, 1-0, on a sacrifice fly to center.
In the fifth, Brooklyn (21-28) grabbed the lead. 3B Mateo Gil collected a one-out infield knock and scooted to third on LF Eduardo Salazar's double to right. DH José Mena followed with a two-run single up the middle, giving the Cyclones a 2-1 lead.
The advantage did not last, as Jersey Shore tied it in the bottom of the inning.
1B Nick Ward reached base safely on a bunt single, but the throw to first sailed over the first baseman's head. Ward took second and made a turn for third. The throw to the bag skipped off the baserunner and rolled into foul ground. Ward jumped up and scored, tying the game at two.
After the Cyclones were unable to score in the top of the extra frame, the BlueClaws needed only two pitches to end the contest in the bottom of the inning.
DH Rixon Wingrove blasted the second pitch of the frame down the left-field line. The ball bounced off the warning track and out of play for a ground-rule double, allowing the automatic runner to score from second, providing Jersey Shore a 3-2 walk-off victory.
Neither starter received a decision in the opener. RHP Tyler Stuart permitted two runs (one earned) over five innings for Brooklyn, while Jersey Shore's LHP Jordan Fowler yielded two earned in five frames.
RHP Orion Kerkering (2-0) posted a scoreless eighth inning of relief, ultimately earning his second win for the 'Claws. RHP Jace Beck (3-3) was saddled with his third defeat in relief for the 'Clones.
Both teams were able to squeak across runs to start the offense in the nightcap.
With one out in the first, RF Jaylen Palmer coaxed a walk and went first to third on a fielder's choice and throwing error off the bat of SS William Lugo. 1B-2B Chase Estep promptly roped a run-scoring single through the left-side of the infield, placing Brooklyn in front, 1-0.
In the bottom of the inning, Jersey Shore tied it up. 3B Nick Ward started the home first with a walk and, two batters later, 1B Rixon Wingrove lofted a fly ball down the left-field line. The Australian native dunked it safely onto the outfield grass and watched it roll to the warning track. Ward raced home to score from first on the double, tying the game at one apiece.
Two innings later, Jersey Shore jumped ahead. Ward ignited the rally with another leadoff walk and scooted around to third on Wingrove's single to center. DH Andrick Nava subsequently brought in the go-ahead tally with a one-base knock to left.
In the sixth, the BlueClaws managed a key insurance run. SS Casey Martin started the frame with an infield single and stole second base with one out. Following a fly out to center, LF Jared Carr poked a run-producing single to left, doubling the Jersey Shore edge to 3-1.
Brooklyn would not go quietly, though, in the top of the seventh. LF Alex Ramírez and CF Omar De Los Santos began a rally with consecutive singles and moved to second and third on a ground out.
While a Lugo ground out to second chased home Ramírez to draw the Cyclones within one, 3-2, that was as close as Brooklyn would get. RHP Tommy McCollum recorded a strikeout looking to secure Jersey Shore's victory and his fourth save of the season.
RHP Jason Ruffcorn (2-1) earned his second win of the series in relief for the 'Claws. The right-hander hurled two scoreless innings of relief after RHP Rodolfo Sánchez permitted an unearned run in two frames during a spot start.
Despite working a season-high four innings and punching out a season-best six, 'Clones RHP Robert Colina (0-2) was saddled with his second loss of the year.
Brooklyn will try and salvage the final game of the series on Sunday afternoon. RHP Blade Tidwell (2-3, 5.34) projects to get the ball for Brooklyn against the Shore’s LHP Rafael Marcano (2-2, 3.90). First pitch is slated for 1:05 p.m.