In what was an unorthodox Friday night at Frawley Stadium, the Wilmington Blue Rocks and Jersey Shore BlueClaws kicked off the evening by completing in the final innings of Thursday night’s suspended game.
Jersey Shore held a 2-0 lead heading into the top of the fifth inning, where the game would resume play. Neither team was able to generate any offense upon the game’s continuation, and the BlueClaws would wind up taking the game by a final score of 2-0. Cristian Hernandez and Aidan Anderson came in for relief of Ben Brown and shut the door on Wilmington.
Shortly following was Friday evening’s scheduled game between the division rivals, which warranted a similar result. The Blue Rocks struggled to get the offense going again against top Phillies pitching prospect Mick Abel, and would fall to the BlueClaws 3-0 to be shut out for the second straight game.
Manager Mario Lisson said after the game that he doesn’t believe the slow offense in the continuation of Thursday’s game set the tone for game two.
“No, not at all,” Lisson said. “I think their pitcher was pretty good. He was making pitches, and we didn’t do a very good job of adjusting.”
The BlueClaws, after quickly loading the bases in the top of the first inning with no outs, plated two early runs and never looked back. Blue Rocks starter Rodney Theophile was able to adjust and bounce back, however, dominating the remainder of his start.
Theophile spoke about what adjustments he made following his first-inning jam that allowed him to go out and put on a show.
“In the first inning I was feeling kind of off, I felt like my fastball wasn’t as explosive,” Theophile said. “Then, I felt like it was starting to get a little bit of sink, and I took advantage of that, throwing down in the zone, getting a lot of ground balls and pop-ups… Started mixing in more of my pitches like my changeup.”
In what was a lackluster offensive night for the Blue Rocks, their best chance to put runs on the board came in the top of the fifth when the bases were loaded with just one out and the top of the lineup was coming up to the plate. Unfortunately, no runs would come across to score, and the Blue Rocks’ scoreless-innings streak would be extended even further.
“It’s not that it’s crushing,” Lisson said in reference to the missed opportunity. “You obviously want to get runs across. Again, their starting pitcher was executing pitches, and we couldn’t execute.”
As previously mentioned, this game was not lost due to a dull pitching performance. Theophile put his best foot forward, pitching six strong innings, allowing only three hits, and no earned runs while striking out five.
Even though Theophile put out a performance that certainly justified a win, he is not blaming his offense for not being able to put runs on the board.
“That’s a part of baseball,” Theophile said. “They’ve picked me up a few times, so I understand that it’s a part of baseball. Just have to go out and do what I can. And I still appreciate what they did, they tried to do their best.”
With the Blue Rocks’ scoreless-innings streak now sitting at 19, they will get an immediate opportunity to bounce back and even up the series on Saturday, June 30.
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