LAKEWOOD, NJ - Suns starting pitcher McKenzie Mills struck out a season-high nine batters after an early wakeup call on Wednesday in a tidy 2-1 win over the BlueClaws at FirstEnergy Park.
Following an 11:05 a.m. first pitch, Mills (Win, 2-1) cruised through five scoreless innings against sleepy Lakewood hitters. The 21-year-old southpaw from Marietta, Georgia allowed just one hit; the fewest by any Suns starter this season.
The Suns gave Mills a 2-0 lead before his exit. In the fourth inning, Sheldon Neuse walked and Carter Kieboom stole third before scoring on a throwing error by BlueClaws catcher Edgar Cabral. In the fifth, Daniel Johnson extended his team-best hitting streak to seven games with an RBI single that scored Nick Banks.
Lakewood (7-7) snapped an eight-inning scoreless streak by Suns reliever Jorge Pantoja (Hold, 1) in the sixth inning on an RBI double by Cord Sandberg, but the 23-year-old Alabama State alum bounced back to strike out two BlueClaws in two innings of work before handing the ball to Jordan Mills (Save 1), who allowed just one hit in two scoreless innings.
Hagerstown (9-5) leads the South Atlantic League Northern Division thanks to a winning road trip with four wins in seven days. The Suns improved to 5-1 against Lakewood this season following their 11-game win streak against the BlueClaws to open the 2016 campaign.
On Thursday, the Suns return to Hagerstown Municipal Stadium for a seven-game home stand, beginning with the first Thirsty Thursday of 2017. Fans can enjoy 12-ounce beers for just two dollars each. First pitch against the in-state rival and Orioles-affiliated Delmarva Shorebirds is set for 6:05 p.m. To purchase tickets, call 301-791-6266 or visit hagerstownsuns.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.