LAKEWOOD, NJ (July 13, 2019) - The Suns pitching staff had one of its best performances of the season in their 2-0 series-clinching win over the Lakewood BlueClaws at FirstEnergy Park Saturday.
Hagerstown's (38-54, 8-14) third shutout victory of the season was put together by three arms - Reid Schaller, Matt Cronin and Angel Guillen. The group allowed only three hits, which ties the Suns' season-best for hits allowed in a game.
Schaller (W, 1-1) made his fourth start of the season, and this one was his best. The righty spun five scoreless innings and gave up only two hits while striking out four. Cronin followed and worked the second consecutive scoreless inning to start his professional career. Then the ball went to Guillen (S, 4) who was able to finish out the game. The right-hander retired all nine batters he faced and struck out two over three scoreless frames.
The Suns offense wasn't clicking either, but the bats did enough early to put the team in a good position. Hagerstown got its only two runs in the top of the first inning against Lakewood (36-55, 7-14) starter Dominic Pipkin (L, 3-3). Jackson Cluff walked to lead off the game and then Drew Mendoza came through with a one-out single. Jacob Rhinesmith then reached on an error that allowed the first run to score, and Israel Pineda followed that with a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.
Coming into the day, the Suns had been outscored 16-1 in the first inning in the month of July, but Saturday's game halted that trend.
Pipkin put those two unearned runs behind him and ended up allowing only two hits and striking out three over five innings. Jhordany Mezquita entered in the sixth and kept the BlueClaws in the game, pitching four scoreless frames while striking out two. Scoring two runs or less has not been a successful formula for the Suns so far this season, but the two runs were enough Saturday night. Hagerstown is now 3-8 in games in which it scores two runs.
Hagerstown continues their series versus the BlueClaws tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m. at FirstEnergy Park. RHP Joan Adon (6-3, 4.67 ERA) gets the ball for Hagerstown, while Lakewood sends RHP Victor Santos (4-6, 2.87 ERA) to the bump in the second game of three.
The Suns return home for a four-game series with the Hickory Crawdads July 18-21. The homestand is littered with promotions from a Jimmy Buffett-themed Thirsty Thursday, an Early Halloween Party, Friday, Wrestling Night, with an appearance from Bob Backlund before we wrap up the homestand with a Kids Sunday Funday.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.