Melendez Mashes Legends to Game Two Victory in SAL Championship Series

Posted at 11:15 PM, Sep 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-11 23:15:48-04

WHITAKER BANK BALLPARK (Lexington, KY) – Led by a home run in the first inning by MJ Melendez, the Lexington Legends took game two of the South Atlantic League Championship series over the Lakewood BlueClaws, 5-2. The best-of-five-series is now split, 1-1.

M.J. Melendez – Photo by Clinton Riddle

MJ Melendez, the second batter of the first inning, blasted a solo homer to left field and the Legends led 1-0.

In the bottom of the third, Kyle Isbel led off with a single to right field then advanced to second when Kyle Young balked. Nick Pratto then lined a double to right centerfield, moving Isbel to third. Brewer Hicklen grounded out to the third baseman, allowing Isbel to score and Lexington led 2-0.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Cal Jones led off with a single up the middle then moved to second on a single by Isbel. An RBI single by Melendez brought home Jones, while moving Isbel to third. Isbel then scored on a wild pitch thrown by Julian Garcia, plating another run for the Legends. Pratto lined an RBI single to right field and Lexington led 5-0.

Lakewood plated their only runs of the game in the top of the eighth inning. Matt Vierling led off with a single to centerfield. Rodolfo Duran then blasted a two-run homer to left field and the BlueClaws were on the board, 5-2.

Jackson Kowar – Photo by Clinton Riddle

Jackson Kowar earned the victory pitching 5.0 shutout innings allowing two hits while walking one and striking out five. Kyle Young was given the loss tossing 4.0 innings allowing two runs on four hits while walking two and striking out two. Tad Ratliff was given the save pitching the ninth inning allowing one hit while striking out two.

The Legends and BlueClaws have an off day tomorrow, and are back in action for game three Thursday, September 13 in New Jersey. LHP Daniel Lynch (5-1, 1.58 ERA) will be on the mound for the Legends and RHP Andrew Brown (6-3, 2.10 ERA) will throw for Lakewood.

The Legends, a Class A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals and member of the South Atlantic League, play all home games at Whitaker Bank Ballpark in Lexington, Kentucky. For ticket information, call (859) 422-7867 or visit