Rome, GA - Branden Boggetto broke up a no-hit bid by the Rome Braves, but the Hagerstown Suns were unable to finish two rallies against Rome on Friday night at State Mutual Stadium, losing 3-1. The Suns fall to 0-2 on the season and will play the third game of the four-game series on Saturday with a 6:00 PM first pitch.
Rome got on the board early against Hagerstown starter Nick Raquet. Derian Cruz drew a one-out walk and went to third on a fielding error by Cole Freeman which also allowed Drew Waters to reach first. Cruz scored when Drew Lugbauer grounded into a force out to give the Braves a 1-0 lead.
Raquet settled down and overcame some errors in the field to hold the Braves to that one run over the following two innings, but Rome struck again in the fourth. Jefery Ramos led off the inning for the Braves with a single to right, and Garrison Schwartz was hit by a pitch. Jean Carlos Encarnacion singled to left, plating Ramos to extend the Braves lead to 2-0. With runners still at first and second base and one out, Riley Delgado grounded a force out to third that allowed Schwartz to score and give the Braves a 3-0 lead.
Braves starter Jasseel De La Cruz did not allow a hit to the Suns, while issuing one walk, but was lifted from the game at the beginning of the sixth. Freddy Tarnok entered from the bullpen, and the Suns were able to put a mark in the run column. Armond Upshaw reached on a fielding error and stole second with Freeman at the plate. Freeman was hit by a pitch and had to leave the game due to an injury, and Boggetto took his place at first as a pinch-runner. Both runners moved up a base on a passed ball, and Luis Garcia walked to load the bases. Juan Soto grounded into a double play that allowed Upshaw to score and move Boggetto to third. Anderson Franco walked to put runners at the corners, and Yasel Antuna walked to re-load the bases, but Nick Banks struck out swinging to end the inning.
Through all of this, Rome's no-hitter remained intact. That is, until the top of the eighth inning. Boggetto singled to center field for the first hit of the game for Hagerstown, but the offense fizzled quickly in the inning. Boggetto stayed on first base as the next three Suns hitters went by the way side.
Hagerstown mounted one more comeback in the ninth inning against Rome reliever Brandon White. With one out, Banks reached on an error and Kameron Esthay doubled to right field. With Banks at third and Esthay representing the tying run on second, Joey Harris and Upshaw both struck out to end the threat and the game.
Raquet (0-1) went five innings in the loss, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits with a walk and three strikeouts. Carlos Acevedo made his first appearance of the season out of the bullpen, hurling three shutout innings without allowing a hit, issuing two walks and three strikeouts.
Notes: Boggetto's hit in the eighth not only broke up the no-hitter, but it's also his first hit of the season… He's also the first pinch runner used by Hagerstown this season… The Suns have struck out a combined 25 times in the first two games of 2018… Friday was the first time since August 18, 2017 that Raquet had allowed more than two runs in a start… He has thrown at least five innings in each of his last five starts… Banks' three strikeouts is a career high and Esthay's three strikeouts ties a career high… The Suns were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position… Both teams left eight runners on base… The Suns will return to action against the Braves on Saturday at State Mutual Stadium with a 6:00 PM first pitch… Hagerstown will send RHP Jackson Tetreault (0-0, 0.00 ERA) to the mound while Rome will counter with LHP Bruce Zimmermann (0-0, 0.00 ERA) …
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.