Hickory, NC-The Hagerstown Suns (60-49, 20-19) were outmatched in their game four finale with the Hickory Crawdads (64-44, 24-16) on Thursday night at L.P. Frans Stadium, losing 8-1. The Suns finish their eight game road trip at (4-4) after splitting the front leg with the Delmarva Shorebirds and sharing the back end with the 'dads. Hagerstown mustered just five base hits, while Hickory collected 15 hits.
Suns LHP Robbie Ray (2-2), the losing pitcher, allowed four earned runs, his second most of the season, on seven hits, while walking three and striking out two.
Hickory, after failing to score first in each of the first three games of the series, tallied one run in the 1st frame on a an RBI double up the left field line to bring home SS Jurickson Profar, who walked to lead off the inning. Profar was 4-for-4 with two runs scored, a double, and two RBI in the contest.
The Crawdads collected two more runs in the 2nd inning when C Kellin Deglan sprayed a single through the right side to score LF Jacob Scole, who walked, before Profar singled the other way to right field to allow DH Alejandro Selen to come home. Selen doubled off the left field wall to get aboard.
Crawdads RHP Cody Buckel (5-3), the winning pitcher, tossed 5.0 innings and surrendered one earned run on four hits, while walking one, hitting one batter, and fanning five.
The Crawdads tallied another run in the 4th inning to take a 4-0 lead when Profar ripped a double to left field bringing in CF Braxton Lane, who singled up the middle.
The Suns lone run came to fruition in the 5th frame on an RBI double by RF Michael Taylor to the wall in left field after 1B Brett Newsome and LF Wade Moore both reached with singles.
Hickory RHP Ben Rowen (1 SV), earned his first save of the season by finishing the final four innings of the game. The submarine sidewinder gave up just one hit, a single to left field off the bat of C David Freitas. Rowen walked three and struck out one.
In the 8th inning, off RHP Shane McCatty, the Crawdads gathered three more runs on four consecutive singles, a shot to center field by Profar, a bunt up the third base line by 2B Odubel Herrera, an RBI skip shot to left field by 3B Christian Villanueva, and a blooper to center by 1B Andrew Clark. Richmond punched an RBI grounder to the right side, before Skole knocked a seeing-eye RBI single into right field.
As a cherry on top to their boastful offensive evening, the Crawdads cooked up one more run in the 8th inning off an RBI single through the left side by Herrera to plate Lane, who doubled off the right field wall.
The Suns begin a four-game home series with the Northern Division rival, Greensboro Grasshoppers. Wall-to-wall radio broadcast coverage on Friday night will begin with a 6:50pm Break Away 2 Sports Lounge Pre-game Show on the Suns radio flagship station, WJEJ 1240 AM leading up to a 7:05pm first pitch. The starting pitching matchup will feature Suns RHP Matt Swynenberg (4-1, 3.48) against RHP Kyle Winters (7-3, 4.62).
Washington Nationals number one overall draft pick in 2009, RHP Stephen Strasburg is scheduled to make a rehabilitation appearance with the Suns on Sunday against Greensboro in which he will throw two innings. Strasburg is on the return from Tommy John Surgery after a rookie campaign that featured a (5-3) record complemented by a 2.91 ERA in 12 starts for the Nationals in 2010. Strasburg struck out 92 batters in 62.0 innings. A media advisory will be sent to credentialed media members detailing access to Strasburg during his appearance with the Hagerstown Suns.
The Hagerstown Suns play at Municipal Stadium in Hagerstown, MD and are a Class "A" affiliate of the Washington Nationals. Season ticket packages, group outings, and corporate sponsorships are available by calling the Suns at 301-791-6266. Visit the Suns on the web at www.hagerstownsuns.com. The Suns are owned by Hagerstown Baseball, LLC.
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