Hagerstown Suns Game Notes
The Suns are riding a 3-game winning streak coming into today's 2:05 p.m. contest against the Augusta GreenJackets at SRP Park. RHP Francys Peguero (1-1, 2.67 ERA) gets the nod for Hagerstown, meanwhile, Augusta sends RHP Jake Wong (2-1, 2.78 ERA) to the bump.
THE FORCE IS STRONG WITH THE SUNS IN 5-4 WIN: Hagerstown jumped out of the gates to a three-run first frame, supported by a quality start from Jake Irvin to vault the Suns over the GreenJackets 5-4 at SRP Park Saturday evening. The Oklahoma-product rebounded from a rough last start against Greensboro where he surrendered nine runs in just one inning by firing six innings and allowing just four hits and two runs against the GreenJackets. In the first, Jacob Rhinesmith and Gilbert Lara hit back-to-back singles to bring home Cody Wilson and Kyle Marinconz before Rhinesmith raced home from a throwing error from third baseman Wander Franco to immediately put Hagerstown in front 3-0. After the Suns added a pair in the top of the seventh, Jackson Stoeckinger was to close the door with a 2.1 inning save, his first save of his career.
WE'RE GOING STREAKING: Gilbert Lara earned the Suns first hitting-streak of six games or more April 12 and continued the stretch Saturday. Over those 19 games, Lara has earned 29 hits in 81 at-bats, good for a .358 average over that span. The infielder has also has hit three homers and driven in 16 RBI during that time. Lara now owns the longest hitting streak in the South Atlantic League this season. The Dominican-native also holds the longest streak in both Minor League and Major League baseball in 2019. The longest hitting streak in the South Atlantic League in 2018 belonged to Raphael Gladu, who hit in 23-consecutive games for the Columbia Fireflies from May 9-June 9, 2018. The last time a Hagerstown Sun had a 20-game hitting streak was when Jeff Maloney had a 20-game mark from July 18-August 8, 1999.
QUALITY CATE: The University of Connecticut-product has now issued four consecutive quality starts dating back to April 16. In that time frame, the Suns are 2-2, but he has worked 24 innings, allowing just four runs (1.50 ERA) while fanning 27 batters. The southpaw also leads the Suns in ERA (1.62), WHIP (0.90), wins (2), strikeouts (39) and innings pitched (33.1). The 2018 second round pick pitched in four games for Hagerstown last year and fininshed with 19 strikeouts in 21 innings to pair with a 5.57 ERA.
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER: While Justin Connell didn't join the Suns until April 15, his presence has certainly been felt since being activated from Extended Spring Training. The 2017 11th round pick from Platation Florida has the 2nd-highest batting average on the team, a .339 mark and he has shown off some power this year two, driving in 12 RBI and hitting six doubles, good for second and third on the Hagerstown roster. Connell is hitting with a slash line of .339/.443/.500 in 16 games in the South Atlantic League.
TWO FOR THE SHOW: With Lara's homer in the bottom of the ninth with two outs Wednesday, Lara now has hit five of his team-high six homers this season with two outs. In addition to that, three of his six homers this season have been two-run blasts. Half of the Dominican-native's homers have come in the seventh inning or later this year. In the four games that Lara played against the Tourists prior to this series at McCormick Field, he knocked a pair of homers and drove in four runs.
SUN SPOTS: After dropping seven of eight games and four consecutive, the Suns are now winners of three straight.
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