Suns have no answer for Carrasco's stellar outing


The Hagerstown Suns played festival-style seating baseball on Friday.

It was get there early or don't get there at all because you would never get close to seeing the star of the show.

On this day, Lakewood's Carlos Carrasco was in the starring role while the Suns looked like faces in the crowd. Hagerstown missed all the chances to rock the house early and ended up on the outside looking in at a 4-0 loss at Municipal Stadium.

Carrasco improved with each passing inning, getting out of early trouble to put together eight innings of three-hit pitching to handcuff the Suns.


"Carrasco is a good-looking prospect," said Hagerstown manager Frank Cacciatore. "He has done good against us. This is the third time we've faced him and he's done well each time. We had a shot at him today."

The Suns had prime scoring opportunities in the first, second and fifth innings against Carrasco, but failed to cash in. Meanwhile, the BlueClaws used walks and two-out hits to construct four single-run innings against four Suns pitchers.

The most glaring of the Suns' missed chances came in the second while trailing, 1-0. Leivi Ventura and Jonel Pacheco both walked and Joe Holden singled to load the bases with none out. But Drew Butera struck out and Jonathan Schimmel grounded into a double play to stuff the prime opportunity.

"The big one came with the bases loaded and none out and we didn't get anything," Cacciatore said. "If we could have pushed one across, it might have been a different story. It would have made a difference in how he had to pitch and changed situations. The more runs they got, he had an easier time pitching."

The BlueClaws broke through in the second against Hagerstown's Deolis Guerra, the 17-year-old pitcher who was making his second start.

With two outs, Sean Gamble singled to right and Cooper Osteen reached on an infield single to short before Julian Williams walked to load the bases.

Avelino Asprilla followed with a slow roller to the first-base side that forced Nick Evans to charge. The first baseman scooped and tossed to Guerra, who was late leaving the mound to cover. Asprilla beat Guerra to the bag for an RBI single, spiking the pitcher on the back of the foot in the process.

"Guerra has a lot of talent. You could see it on a couple of his pitches tonight," Cacciatore said. "The idea here is to let him pitch and cut down the kinds of mistakes he can get away with. Getting over late to first base late was a mistake ... but I'll bet he will never do that again."

The Suns had another prime chance go by the wayside in the fifth. Butera ripped the hardest hit ball of the night off Carrasco to left field for a one-out double and Hector Pellot drew a two-out walk.

Jose Castro followed with a single to short right field, but Butera was gunned down at the plate to end the inning.

The BlueClaws scored single runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings - all off reliever Eric Brown - to take the 4-0 lead. Clay Harris, Julian Williams and Wellison Baez each singled in runs to add to Carrasco's advantage.

Carrasco retired the Suns in order in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings before Justin Baine came on to retire Hagerstown 1-2-3 in the ninth to finish to shutout.

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