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Philadelphia baseball from the majors to the minors.

‘Claws mount another comeback to win game one in extras

Nick Maton
Nick Maton homered for Lakewood in game one of the SAL Championship Series as the ‘Claws battled from five runs down in the ninth to beat Lexington. (Photo courtesy Lakewood BlueClaws)

Five runs down? Three outs to go? No problem!

Madison Stokes broke a 5-all tie in the 11th to give the BlueClaws a 6-5 win over Lexington in Game One of the SAL Championship Series, a game Lakewood trailed 5-0 entering the ninth inning. Stokes drove in Rodolfo Duran, who singled to start the inning, to give the BlueClaws the win in the Championship Series opener on Monday night.

Lakewood now leads the best-of-five series 1-0 and moves to within two wins of the league title.

The BlueClaws, held to one hit over the first eight innings, and down 5-0, stormed back to tie the game in the ninth. After base hits by Josh Stephen and Jake Scheiner, Rodolfo Duran took Daniel Duarte deep. Jhailyn Ortiz followed with a home run down the right field line to cut the Legends lead to 5-4.

After a pitching change, Nick Maton took Tad Ratliff deep to tie the game at five. It was the first time since at least 2010 that the BlueClaws hit back-to-back-to-back home runs.

Connor Brogdon (1-0) came on for Lakewood in the bottom of the ninth and retired the top three in the Legends lineup in order to force the 10th inning. After a scoreless 10th from Brogdon, Zach Warren threw a scoreless 11th to earn the save.

The win was Lakewood’s 10th since July 23rd in which they trailed in the seventh inning or later.

Brewer Hicklen homered in the first inning after a two-out walk to Nick Pratto to put the Legends up 2-0.

Pratto, meanwhile, took Damon Jones deep on an 0-2 pitch to lead off the third and put Lexington up 3-0. In the fourth, after Jones got the first two, Kyle Isbel doubled and scored on an RBi single from MJ Melendez.

Yefri Del Rosario, an 18 year old Legends from the Dominican Republic, game up one hit, a fifth inning single to Nick Maton, and struck out seven.

Jones came out after four innings, allowing four runs on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts.

Gustavo Armas allowed a two-out RBI single in the sixth to Isbel to give Lexington a 5-0 lead before the BlueClaws began their comeback.

The series will continue on Tuesday night in Game Two. Left-hander Kyle Young (3-3) starts for Lakewood opposite Jackson Kowar (0-1).

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