Suns Drop Early Lead Again
KEWOOD, NJ - Despite a quality start from Tim Cate , a three-run sixth pushed Lakewood in front of the Suns 3-2 at FirstEnergy Park Wednesday morning.
Cate (L, 3-3) made it unscathed through the first five frames before getting into trouble in the sixth. After allowing a Matt Kroon lead-off single and striking out Luis Garcia , the University of Connecticut-product allowed three consecutive hits from Lakewood (13-24).
Malvin Matos singled to plate Kroon prior to scoring from a Jack Conley double driven to center field. Hunter Stovall hit a base-knock to drive in the final run and put Lakewood in front 3-2.
Hagerstown's (17-21) lefty starter finished the game working six innings, punching out four and allowing three runs. That marked his sixth-consecutive quality start dating back to April 16. He also reached the 50 strikeout milestone for the 2019 season. He is the first Suns pitcher to hit that mark this year and the third player in the South Atlantic League to do so.
The Hagerstown offense struck first again, scoring two runs in the third inning. Juan Pascalstarted off the frame with a one out walk before Trey Vickers drove him in, lining a single to center. After a Justin Connell walk, Gilbert Lara pushed a single to right to plate Vickers and give the Suns a 2-0 lead.
For a second consecutive game, the Suns pushed two runners on in the ninth, but were unable to score the game-tying run. They are now 6-9 in one-run games in 2019.
Tyler Carr (W, 2-1) earned his second win against the Suns since May 8, spinning 2.1 scoreless innings and striking out four batters. Oscar Marcelino (S, 1) came on in the ninth to earn the save.
Only one call to the bullpen was necessary for Hagerstown, as Aaron Fletcher twirled two perfect innings, striking out a pair of batters. His season ERA now sits at a team-low 1.19.
The Suns conclude their series with Lakewood Thursday at 6:35 p.m. RHP Jake Irvin (2-3, 5.74 ERA) toes the rubber for Hagerstown, while Lakewood counters with righty Dominic Pipkin (1-1, 5.01 ERA).
Historic Municipal Stadium plays host to the Suns again May 17-24 as Hagerstown brings Hickory and Kannapolis to town for eight games. There are plenty of reasons to head out to the ballpark, including Comic Con May 18, Bark in the Park May 22 and Thirsty Thursday May 23. For tickets or more information call 301-791-6266 or visit hagerstownsuns.com.
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