Hagerstown Suns: Game Notes
The Suns continue their four-game set against the Hickory Crawdads at Municipal Stadium tonight at 7:05 p.m. RHP Reid Schaller (1-1, 4.20 ERA) gets the ball for the Suns and Hickory sends RHP Ronny Henriquez (3-4, 4.41 ERA) to the bump.
SUNS DROP OPENER TO CRAWDADS: The Suns offense went quiet after a big fourth inning, resulting in a 6-3 loss to the Hickory Crawdads at Municipal Stadium Thursday. Each team was able to muster one big inning, but the four-run fourth for Hickory (60-33, 19-8) outgunned Hagerstown's (40-57, 10-17) three-run third as the Crawdads took the series opener. The Suns are now 2-6 against Hickory on the season. The Suns opened the scoring with a flurry of hits in the third inning. After Jackson Cluff singled to start the frame, Justin Connell roped an RBI double down the left field line to get Hagerstown on the board. Drew Mendoza followed with an RBI double of his own, and then a Kyle Marinconz RBI single later in the inning made it a three-run frame for the Suns. Those three runs came against Crawdads starter Hans Crouse (W, 3-1), but that was all the Suns would get offensively Thursday night. Crouse ended up going five innings and allowing seven hits while striking out only one. The four deciding Hickory runs came in the fourth against Suns starter Jake Irvin (L, 5-7). Miguel Aparicio started the frame with his 10th home run of the season, and then the Crawdads offense followed with four-consecutive singles, with the third one off the bat of Melvin Novoa bringing home a run. A Jonathan Ornelas sacrifice fly tied the game, and then Novoa scored on a passed ball that gave the Crawdads the lead 4-3.
FINDING THE 'CLUFF' GENE: Hagerstown's last two extra inning games have come against the Greensboro Grasshoppers and both have ended in similar fashion. The Suns won and the bat to score the winning run, one at home and one on the road, has been shortstop Jackson Cluff. Prior to the second half--when Cluff joined the team, the Suns were 1-7 in extra inning contests, but have now won back-to-back contests in extras. The BYU-product also launched his first professional homer in the second inning Monday's game.
MULTI-BAG MENDOZA: Hagerstown's first baseman hit his sixth double in 15 games last night. To put that in perpective, Justin Connell has the second-most doubles on the team this season, slashing 16 in 79 games. If Drew Mendoza were to maintain this clip for that period of time, he would hit 32 doubles in just under 80 games, which would give him the most doubles on the Suns. The Florida State-product now has a .403 on-base percentage to compliment his 22 total bases in 15 games.
THROWING HIGH HEAT: Last night, Angel Guillen fanned five batters, good for his third-most of the season. The righty has wrung up 16 hitters in 13.2 innings in July. The Venezuelan now has 66 strikeouts this season, which is the highest of any Suns reliever and the sixth-most amongst any Suns pitcher.
PEGGING PEGUERO: Last night Francys Peguero gave up a career-high eight runs in five innings of work, increasing his total to 11 runs in 10 innings in the month of July (since coming off the injured list). Despite the tough stretch, the righty still maintains the lowest ERA on the team (2.95).
GET THEM ON, MOVE THEM OVER: After a promising start to the road trip with runners in scoring position, Hagerstown finished the trip hitting 1-for-16 with runners in scoring position in their last two games. The start of the homestand didn't go much better as the Suns went 2-for-7 with runners threatening yesterday.
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