HAGERSTOWN, MD - The Hagerstown Suns (12-7, 56-33) matched a season-high with 16 hits on Monday night, opening up a three-game series against the Lakewood BlueClaws (6-13, 33-55) with an 8-4 win. The Suns now own a 13-4 record against Lakewood this season.
It was the BlueClaws who got on the board first in the top of the first inning. Lakewood loaded the bases with no one out, and got a run when catcher Andrew Knapp grounded into a 4-6-3 double-play. It was the first of three consecutive innings in which Lakewood would score.
Hagerstown answered in a big way in the bottom of the first. The first five hitters in the frame all reached base with three singles and two walks. Catcher Spencer Kieboom was the fourth to bat in the inning and he drove in the first run with a line drive single up the middle. Third baseman Drew Ward followed with a single to left, driving in two more runs to make it 3-1. First baseman Jimmy Yezzo produced the final run of the frame with a double to left, bringing home Kieboom to make it 4-1.
Lakewood responded with a two-run second to cut their deficit to one. The rally began with a two out double by 3B Mitch Walding. A single by SS Malquin Canelo brought Walding home and made it 4-2. Canelo was pushed to second following a walk, and then scored on a throwing error by Kieboom following a wild pitch.
The Suns stretched the lead back to two when RF Cody Dent led off the bottom of the second with a solo homerun over the right field wall for his first homerun of the season. Again Lakewood responded the very next inning to cut the deficit to one, but they would be held scoreless after that for the remainder of the game. Hagerstown, meanwhile, built upon its lead with one run in the fourth and two in the fifth. Left fielder Isaac Ballou drove in both the runs in the fifth with a two-out single to right, thereby setting the final score.
RHP Cody Dent (6-2) earned the win for Hagerstown. He pitched three scoreless innings in relief, allowing four hits and one walk while striking out three. Starting RHP Lucas Giolito tossed four innings for Hagerstown, surrendering four runs (three earned) on seven hits and three walks while striking out six. Starting RHP Ranfi Casimiro (2-8) suffered the loss for the BlueClaws. He last just three innings, allowing six earned runs on 10 hits and three walks while striking out one.
These two teams continue their three-game series at Municipal Stadium on Tuesday July 8. The Suns will send RHP Jake Johansen (4-3) to the mound for his 15th start and 16th appearance of the year. He will square off against RHP Tyler Viza (3-11) for Lakewood. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.