Hagerstown Suns: Game Notes
The Suns begin a three-game series with the Greenville Drive tonight at 7:05 p.m. at Municipal Stadium. Hagerstown sends RHP Reid Schaller (2-3, 3.92 ERA) to the bump, while Greenville counters with RHP Kevin Biondic (4-6, 4.30 ERA).
SUNS DROP FINALE TO WEST VIRGINIA 4-2: Hagerstown couldn't overcome an early 4-0 deficit with a late rally in a 4-2 loss to the West Virginia Power at Appalachian Power Park Sunday afternoon. Jake Irvin (L, 6-8) ran into trouble early, loading the bases with no outs in each of the first two innings. He was able to get Matt Sanders and Nick Rodriguez to ground into double plays to score just one run in each of the two innings to get out of it though. So heading into the third, the Suns trailed 2-0 when Dean Navarez ripped a two out base knock to score Sanders and Austin Shenton to put Hagerstown in a 4-0 hole. Nic Perkins started off the fifth with a baseknock and eventually scored when Navarez had an error to allow Phil Caulfield to reach first safely. The Suns added another in the eighth. Justin Connell grounded out to score Trey Vickers to cut the gap to 4-2.
WORK HORSES MISSING BATS: Saturday, Tomas Alastre fanned seven batters to reach 106 strikeouts on the year. He became the first Suns pitcher since Jackson Tetreault, who wrung up 118 batters last year, to reach the 100 strikeout plateau. Sunday, Jake Irvin joined the club, fanning two batters to reach 100 on the season. It's the first time Hagerstown has a pair of pitchers with 100 k's since Pedro Encarnacion (113) and Nick Lee (102) hit the mark in 2013.
THE LONGEST ROAD: Reid Schaller has found his home away from home in his last few outings. In his last 15 innings on the road, the Vanderbilt-product has allowed just one run to score and in the mean-time has given up just six hits. Adding to that, he has been able to make a ton of bats miss, recording 16 strikeouts over the last 15 frames and a
dizzying career-high eight in his outing Thursday. Schaller was able to keep it going at Municipal Stadium Wednesday, striking out six more while allowing just one earned run.
SHAKE IT UP: Joan Adon came out of the bullpen for the first time this season in Thursday's game. He worked four strong innings, allowing just one run. During his time on the bump, Hagerstown had a three-run eighth to put the team in front to put him in line for his league-leading 11th win of the season.
PLUCKING AT THE HEART STRINGS: The Suns have moved their record to .500 multiple times in the second half. Lacking the ability to go above .500, they have not won a game at .500 despite owning an even record for five games. After Sunday's loss, the Suns record is 27-29 meaning Hagerstown would need to win back-to-back for a chance to go above .500. The Suns currently sit 8.5 games back from first place Delmarva in the second half and would exceed everyone's expectations if they were to overtake them and the five other team's in front of them.
COUNTING IT DOWN: Hagerstown has just 14 games remaining this season, with 10 of them coming at Municipal Stadium. The Suns will give away two more bobbleheads, beginning with a Mike Mussina Hall of Fame Bobblehead August 24. In addition to that, the Suns will also have their final fireworks show August 23 following the game against Delmarva.
SUN SPOTS: Hagerstown finished their four-game set with West Virginia hitting 11-for-36 (.306) with runners in scoring position. That mark increased their average to .236 on the season.
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