Suns Pitching Dazzles in 5-1 Win
HAGERSTOWN, MD - Tim Cate continued on his roll of dominance in the Suns 5-1 victory over the Lakewood BlueClaws at Municipal Stadium Thursday night.
Cate (W, 3-2) tossed six sensational innings, allowing just one run on five hits and striking out seven Lakewood hitters, while not issuing a free pass. The UConn product has now recorded at least seven punch-outs in four consecutive starts and has put together his fifth straight quality start.
The Suns (15-18) trailed for the first four innings, but finally got on the board in the fifth. After a walk and an error, Juan Pascal executed a sacrifice bunt to put two in scoring position and chase BlueClaws starter Jhordany Mezquita (L, 1-4) out of the game.
Two batters later, with reliever Gilmael Troya on the hill, Justin Connell came through for the Suns with a two-RBI single to right field that put Hagerstown on top 2-1.
The BlueClaws (11-22) struck first, taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning. After back-to-back one-out singles from Matt Kroon and Luis Garcia, the lefty let two wild pitches loose that eventually allowed a run to score.
But that was all that Lakewood would get off of Cate, who allowed only two more baserunners over his final five innings of work.
The Suns added another two more runs in the sixth as Hagerstown began to pull away. Back-to-back doubles from Jacob Rhinesmith and Israel Pineda to begin the inning put the Suns up 3-1, and then Pineda scored later in the frame when Nic Perkins bounced into a double play.
With Cate out of the game, the Suns went to the bullpen, calling on Angel Guillen (S, 1) to record the final nine outs. Guillen breezed through the Lakewood order, working three scoreless and hitless inning while striking out five batters.
Hagerstown added one more run in the bottom of the eighth inning when a single off the bat of Trey Vickers scored Omar Meregildo.
The Suns finish their three-game set with Lakewood tomorrow. RHP Jake Irvin (1-3, 7.01 ERA) gets the nod for Hagerstown, while the BlueClaws toss righty Francisco Morales (0-2, 6.16 ERA) in the rubber match.
The Suns continue their series with Lakewood Friday at 7:05 p.m. at Municipal Stadium, and it's 70's Night at the stadium! There will be plenty of groovy themes throughout the evening for fans to enjoy. For tickets or more information, visit hagerstownsuns.com or call 301-791-6266.
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