Wilmington Blue Rocks Continue to Struggle Against Jersey Shore BlueClaws

Drew Mendoza on base while Ben Brown throws a pitch earlier this season. The Blue Rocks left six men on base in their loss to Jersey Shore on Saturday night. Sunday, July 3, 2022. - Staff Photographer / Ashley Craven

The scoreless streak will continue for the Wilmington Blue Rocks as they went another nine innings without driving in a run against the Jersey Shore BlueClaws on Saturday, July 30.

What started back on Thursday night in the bottom of the fourth, during their first game of a doubleheader, has now been extended to 28 innings after being shutout once again by Jersey Shore 6-0. 

“Tough game today for us,” Blue Rocks’ Manager Mario Lisson said. “We need to take care of the ball and you know right now we’re not hitting very well.”

While the lack of offense has been an obvious problem for this team the past few days, on Saturday night, their defense was also a detriment as sloppy mistakes in the field played a big role in this loss.

Errors and misplayed balls throughout the game from basically all position players on the Blue Rocks gave the BlueClaws extra baserunners that they would capitalize on.

“The ball didn’t bounce our way today,” Blue Rocks’ Infielder Drew Mendoza said. “I think there were a couple plays that the sun got involved, me in particular at first. You know some plays that we thought we got guys out and the umpire called something else but it is what it is and that’s just baseball.” 

A key mistake came in the fourth inning when Wilmington’s third baseman Junior Martina was charged with a fielding error that put Casey Martin on base for Baron Radcliff’s homer to right-center field that drove in three runs.

Martina would be charged with another one in the fifth, this time a throwing error to first base, but it was debatable if that was on him or Mendoza at first not fielding it correctly. Either way, it was still another defensive blunder for Wilmington.

“Errors are a part of the game, you know,” Lisson said. “The physical errors, we’re fine with it because it’s going to happen. The mental mistakes, that’s what we talk about, but if it’s a physical error, we talk about what we could have done better.”

The struggles in the field combined with the lack of offensive support left Blue Rocks’ starter Michael Cuevas, who already was having a rough outing, in a spot that was seemingly impossible to build any momentum from. Cuevas ended his night giving up five runs– four of which were earned — nine hits, and four walks while being charged with the loss.

Overall it was another bad night for a Wilmington team who just can’t seem to find their footing in this series with the BlueClaws. 

“I mean sometimes baseball is just the way it is,” Mendoza said. “We’re working on our swings, on our approaches everyday just like we’ve been all year and we trust that process and we know it will turn around for us.”

Wilmington has one more chance to get things right against Jersey Shore at home as they head into their series finale on Sunday afternoon. 

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