Hagerstown Suns: Game Notes
The Suns meet in the final clash of the season with Lakewood beginning at 2:05 p.m. RHP Niomar Gomez is making his South Atlantic League debut for Hagerstown while Lakewood offers LHP Manuel Silva (6-6, 3.68 ERA).
'CLAWS MISCUES LEAD TO THIRD STRAIGHT DUB: The Suns took advantage of two BlueClaw wild pitches to guide them to a 4-3 victory at Municipal Stadium Sunday afternoon. While knotted up 1-1 in the fourth with Justin Connell at third base, Francisco Morales (L, 1-8) threw an errant throw to the backstop that allowed Connell to score and give Hagerstown (65-74, 35-34) the 2-1 lead. The following inning, this time with Cole Daily at third, Morales repeated the act, gifting the Suns a 3-1 lead. After Reid Schaller started the game, Alfonso Hernandez (W, 1-2) came in and offered three shutdown innings from the pen, but when he came out for a fourth, he was unable to get an out, allowing back-to-back singles and then walking a pair to allow Lakewood to close Hagerstown's gap to 4-2. Pearson McMahan entered the game and dispelled the inning, allowing just one run to score before handing the ball to Matt Cronin (S, 1) who pitched a 1-2-3 inning, fanning a pair of batters and earning his first career save. The Suns final run scored when Nic Perkins and Kyle Marinconz tallied back-to-back doubles in the bottom of the sixth to push Hagerstown ahead 4-1.
HISTORY IN THE MAKING: If the Suns win today, they will not only earn a winning record against the BlueClaws after starting 3-8 against the team and finish .500 at home, but they will also have their first four-game series sweep at Municipal Stadium since they swept Kannapolis August 7-10, 2014.
STRONG FINISH: Jake Irvin started rolling in the second half of the season. After posting a 5.11 ERA in the first half through 72 innings while allowing opponents to hit .274 against him, he shut bats down in the second half. Following the break, Irvin fanned 63 batters in 56.1 innings . While holding opponents to a .229 average, he had a 2.75 ERA in the second half. The Oklahoma-product also tossed his team-leading 10 quality start of the season yesterday. He went six scoreless innings with eight strikeouts last night.
GETTING OVER THE HUMP: Saturday, both Nic Perkins and Trey Vickers started with their batting average at or below .200. The first two times through the order, Perkins got a pair of doubles and Vickers stroked two singles. It was enough to get both players over the Mendoza line to put every player in yesterday's line-up over .200. To put that into perspective, Lakewood finished yesterday with four hitters batting worse than .200.
GETTING WINS.... AT NIGHT: Last night was the final night game of the season for Hagerstown. Despite sitting 10 games below .500 overall, the Suns finished 55-54 in night caps.
THE LONGEST ROAD: Reid Schaller has found his home away from home in his last few outings. In his last 20 innings on the road, the Vanderbilt-product has allowed just one run to score and in the mean-time has given up just eight hits. Adding to that, he has been able to make a ton of bats miss, recording 22 strikeouts over the last 20 frames and a dizzying career-high eight in his outing last Thursday. Schaller was able to keep it going at Municipal Stadium Wednesday, striking out six more while allowing just one earned run.
THANK YOU: Today marks the Suns final game of the season, thanks for making 2019 a great year!
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