SALISBURY, MD (July 4, 2019) - Both bullpens were nearly flawless in a 3-2 shootout favoring the Delmarva Shorebirds over the Hagerstown Suns at Perdue Stadium Thursday evening.
Delmarva (59-25, 11-4) came right out of the shoot and scored three runs in the first two innings to knock Reid Schaller (L, 0-1) out of the game.
The Vanderbilt-product struggled to find the strike zone, walking a handful of batters in his two innings. The big moment came in the second inning. Robert Neustrom came to the dish after Schaller walked the bases loaded with a pair of outs. The right fielder sliced one down the right field line to score Cody Roberts and Nick Horvath to give the Shorebirds a 3-0 lead.
Hagerstown answered with a pair of runs in the top of the third. After starter Hector Guance (W, 6-3) hit Tyler Cropley and Cody Wilson with pitches, Jackson Cluff drew a walk to load the bases for Drew Mendoza, who ran out an infield single to score Cropley. Next, Jacob Rhinesmith dribbled a ball up the first baseline that Guance couldn't handle and Wilson burnt around third to bring the Suns within one.
Despite getting runners on in each of the final three innings, Hagerstown was unable to score anymore runs and alllowed Matt De La Rosa (S, 3) to close out the game.
Offensively, Cluff earned his finished 2-for-3. He has now reached base safely in 12 of the 14 games he has played for the Suns. Mendoza singled in the second to stretch his hitting streak to all four games he has played in.
The big star in this game ended up being the bullpen though. Ryan Tapani and Jacob Howell both worked three scoreless innings to keep the Suns within one. Howell did not allow a hit while wringing up five batters, meanwhile Tapani allowed one hit and struck out two batters.
The Suns continue their series with Delmarva tomorrow at Perdue Stadium at 7:05 p.m. Hagerstown rolls with RHP Jake Irvin (4-5, 4.73 ERA), while Delmarva sends LHP Nick Vespi (4-4, 3.57 ERA) to the bump.
Hagerstown returns home for three games against the Lakewood BlueClaws July 9-11. The three games are riddled with promotions, including Antietam Date Night, Bark in the Park Night and Thirsty Thursday. For tickets or more information, visit hagerstownsuns.com or call 301-791-6266.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.