Hagerstown Suns: Game Notes
The Suns finish up their series with the Lakewood BlueClaws today at 2:05 p.m at Municipal Stadium. RHP Reid Schaller (2-2, 4.24 ERA) gets the nod for Hagerstown, while Lakewood puts southpaw Taylor Lehman (1-0, 1.56 ERA) on the bump.
LATE RALLY NOT ENOUGH IN SUNS VICTORY: The Suns scored two runs with two outs in the eighth, but the rally was not enough to overcome an early deficit in their 6-3 loss to the Lakewood BlueClaws at Municipal Stadium Tuesday. Trailing 6-1 with two outs in the eighth inning, the Suns (54-67, 24-26) began to rally against the Lakewood (50-69, 22-27) bullpen. Israel Pineda delivered an RBI single and Kyle Marinconz followed with an RBI double to cut the deficit to three. But the BlueClaws then turned to closer Mark Potter (S, 8) who escaped the jam and then worked a scoreless ninth to secure the victory for Lakewood. The first Hagerstown run came in the first inning. After Jackson Cluff led off with a double, Jacob Rhinesmith came through with an RBI single to tie the game at one. But the Lakewood pitching then shut down the Suns offense. Kevin Gowdy got the start for the BlueClaws and tossed four solid innings. He then loaded the bases in the fifth, but Tom Sutera (W, 1-2) came out of the bullpen and pitched out of the jam without allowing a run. Sutera then lasted 3.1 innings in total and allowed just those two runs in the eighth.
WELCOME BACK: Kyle Marinconz returned to Hagerstown Monday after struggling in the Carolina League, earning a .174 clip in seven games. The infielder started right where he left-off, driving in two runs, including the game-winning run against the BlueClaws in his first game back. He kept rolling last night, finishing with a double and an RBI.
CONNELL'S COMING BACK: Justin Connell has hit safely in four-consecutive games, including getting two hits in back-to-back games. Prior to the stretch, Connell had earned a .182 average in July and had a sub-.200 batting average to start off July before he started to rebound.
THE BRAWNY BULLPEN: Since the calendar has turned over to August, the bullpen has been outstanding, allowing just 11 earned runs in 49 innings, good for a 2.02 ERA during that time. To add to that, the pen has also set down 50 batters via the strikeout in the month of August. The bullpen's second half ERA now stands at 2.96 and the team's overall ERa has dropped from 3.78 to 3.67 since the start of the month.
STRIKING SCHALLER ON THE ROAD: Reid Schaller has found his home away from home in his last few outings. In his last 15 innings of work away from Municipal Stadium, the Vanderbilt-product has allowed just one run to score and in the mean-time has given up just six hits. He has also been able to make a ton of bats miss, recording 16 strikeouts over the last 15 frames and a career-high eight in his last outing Thursday.
VINDICTIVE VANN: This season, Christian Vann has inherited 16 runners in 13 games. The 25th-round draftee has stranded all, but one of them (94%) on the basepaths. The rest of the Suns have stranded 70% of their inherited runners this season.
THE CHASE: Hagerstown stands 8.5 games back of first place Delmarva with 19 games remaining in the second half. The Suns would also have to jump over Hickory, Greensboro, West Virginia and Kannapolis to make the playoffs.
SUN SPOTS: After yesterday's loss the Suns are now 4-13 on Tuesdays this season.
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