LAKEWOOD, N.J. - Three pitchers combined to shutout the Lakewood BlueClaws (1-6) on Wednesday night, propelling the Hagerstown Suns (4-3) to a 6-0 victory in front of 5,005 at FirstEnergy Park.
RHP Blake Schwartz (2-0) got the win for the Suns in his first start of the season. He lasted five innings, giving up just two hits while striking out six. LHP Bryan Harper replaced Schwartz to begin the sixth, and he threw 2.1 innings of two-hit ball. RHP Travis Henke replaced Harper with one out in the eighth and the bases loaded, but he was able to get out of the jam unscathed to earn the save.
Offensively the Suns first got on the board in the top of the second. First baseman Carlos Lopez began the rally by taking a one out walk. That was followed by a line drive single to right by CF J.R. Higley. With runners at first and second, SS Stephen Perez doubled to center field, driving in Lopez for the first run of the game. Left fielder Wes Schill then knocked in the final two runs of the frame by hitting a ground ball single to right, putting Hagerstown ahead 3-0.
The Suns added to their lead in the fourth. Catcher Pedro Severino led off the inning by reaching first on a fielding error by 3B Mitch Walding. A throwing error by starting RHP Josh Warner (0-1) on a sacrifice bunt by Schill allowed Severino to move from first to third. Designated hitter Tony Renda then drove Severino home with a sacrifice fly.
The final two runs for Hagerstown came in the final two innings. In the eighth it was again Schill who delivered the big hit, driving in Higley with a line drive single to right. In the ninth a one-out walk to 3B Mike McQuillan proved to be damaging as he scored from second when Lopez grounded into a force out at second.
Warner was charged with the loss for Lakewood. He lasted five innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on six hits, while walking two and striking out three.
The Suns next head home to play their home opener on Thursday April 11 against the Delmarva Shorebirds. Hagerstown will send RHP Ivan Pineyro (0-1) to the mound for his second start of the season. He will square off against RHP Mark Blackmar (0-1) for Delmarva. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35pm.