Hagerstown Suns Game Notes
The Suns open up a three-game series with the Delmarva Shorebirds tonight at 7:05 p.m. at Perdue Stadium. Hagerstown send RHP Francys Peguero (1-1, 2.45 ERA) to the bump, meanwhile the southpaw, Drew Rom (1-0, 2.53), earns the start for Delmarva.
SUNS PITCHING COMBINES FOR FIRST SHUTOUT OF SEASON: The Hagerstown Suns pitching staff, led by starter Jake Irvin, blanked Lakewood 3-0 to close out a three-game series at Municipal Stadium Friday night.
Irvin finished with 5.2 innings pitched, while allowing just four hits and wringing up a career-high eight batters in the start before handing the ball to Aaron Fletcher . The lefty spun out of trouble in the sixth before finishing the seventh and eighth without allowing a hit. Jackson Stoeckinger closed out the game, working a scoreless ninth to cap off the Suns first shutout of the 2019 season. Hagerstown's last shutout came August 20, 2018 in a 7-0 win over the Columbia Fireflies. The offense kicked things off early, scoring a run in three of the first four frames. Kyle Marinconz knocked a one out double into left in the first to get the Suns on the bases, then Jacob Rhinesmith drove him in with a double to push Hagerstown ahead of Lakewood 1-0.
ARMS DEALING: After allowing 10 or more runs in back-to-back outings against the Greensboro Grasshoppers, the pitching staff rebounded on the seven-game road trip. In those seven games, the starters logged four quality starts and twice had worked five or more innings, allowing just one run, but didn't go the six required for a quality start. Joan Adon and Tim Cate continued that torrid stretch in the Suns homestand, spinning twelve combined innings while allowing two runs and each earning a quality start. Friday, the Suns earned their first shutout of the season, blanking Lakewood 3-0. The staff as a whole has a 2.29 ERA with 73 strikeouts across 90.1 innings in their last 10 games.
QUALITY INSPECTION: After Adon worked his first-career quality start Thursday, the Suns are just 4-7 in 1 games where starters toss a quality start. The Suns finished the four game series against Augusta last week with two of those wins.
QUALITY CATE: The University of Connecticut-product has now issued five consecutive quality starts dating back to April 16. In that time frame, the Suns are 3-2, but he has worked 30 innings, allowing just five runs (1.50 ERA) while fanning 34 batters. The southpaw also leads the Suns in ERA (1.60), WHIP (0.89), wins (3), strikeouts (46) and innings pitched (39.1). 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 Plantation Florida has the 2nd-highest batting average on the team, a .315 mark. Connell is hitting with a slash line of .315/.409/.438 in 21 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.
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