Hagerstown Suns: Game Notes
Tonight, the Suns travel to Kannapolis to finish out their road slate against the Kannapolis Intimidators. RHP Reid Schaller (3-3, 3.68 ERA) gets the nod for the Suns, while Kannapolis sends RHP Jason Bilous (6-8, 3.54 ERA) to the bump.
SUNS TAKE SERIES WITH EMPHATIC VICTORY: The Suns bats jumped on the Shorebirds early, and the pitching silenced the opposing bats in their 9-0 win over Delmarva at Municipal Stadium Sunday. Hagerstown (61-71, 31-31) struck for seven runs early which was plenty of support for starter Jake Irvin (W, 7-8), who spun six masterful scoreless frames while allowing only three hits and striking out five Delmarva (86-44, 38-23) hitters. The scoring began in the first for Hagerstown when the team pushed across two runs without picking up a hit. Shorebirds starter Hector Guance (L, 8-6) walked the first three batters he faced. Jacob Rhinesmith then scored on a passed ball, and Kyle Marinconz brought home another run on an RBI groundout. The Suns got two more in the second, this time using a couple of hits. Rhinesmith picked up an RBI single and then later came in to score on a wild pitch to make it a 4-0 game.
HURLERS HOUR: In the Suns last 33 innings they have given up just a single earned run, earning a 3-1 record over that span. In the same time, they have given up just 10 hits and eight walks (0.55 WHIP). The Suns second half ERA has dropped from 3.76 to 3.62 over the last four games.
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.
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 seven opportunities. After Wednesday's loss, the Suns record is 31-31 meaning Hagerstown would need just one more win to earn their first above-.500 record of the season.
COUNTING IT DOWN: Hagerstown has just 8 games remaining this season, with 4 of them coming at Municipal Stadium. The Suns will give away one more bobbleheads, a Paul "Ears" McNeal bobblehead August 31. In addition to that, the Suns will also have their final fireworks show August 30 following the game against Delmarva.
CLOSE, BUT NO CIGAR: In yesterday's 9-0 win over Kannapolis, Phil Caulfield finished 3-for-4 with a single, triple and homer, leaving him a double shy of the cycle. If he would have hit that double, he would have been the first Suns player since John Kehoe to hit for the cycle. Kehoe had a single, double, triple and homer in the May 18, 1996 Suns contest at Hickory.
JOLLY JAKE: Jake Irvin has rolled right through the South Atlantic League in August. The righty has fanned 21 batters in as many innings while maintaining a 2.14 ERA in four starts for Hagerstown. While the Oklahoma-product is 1-1 over the stretch, he has recorded the fourth-lowest ERA in the league in that time, trailing just Kannapolis's Sam Long, Delmarva's Ryan Wilson and Charleston's Roansy Contreras.
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