LAKEWOOD, N.J. — Nathan Karns wasn’t perfect on Saturday.
But it was close enough.
Karns fired a one-hit shutout to lead Hagerstown to a 7-1 victory over the Lakewood BlueClaws on Saturday in the first game of a doubleheader. Lakewood came back to earn a 7-5 win in the nightcap to earn a split.
In the opener, Suns used a four-run third inning to give Karns all the support he needed.
Kelly Dugan collected the BlueClaws’ only hit against Karns with a one-out RBI double in the fourth.
Karns (2-0) only allowed two other Lakewood runners to reach base. He allowed one walk and struck out 10.
The Suns took a 4-0 lead in the second, capped by Steven Souza’s two-run double off Lakewood starter Lino Martinez.
Cutter Dykstra had a sacrifice fly and Jason Martinson added an RBI single in the inning.
The Suns grabbed a 5-1 lead in the fifth on Matt Skole’s 10th home run.
Hagerstown added two insurance runs in the seventh on RBI singles by Adrian Nieto and Caleb Ramsey.
Martinson, Skole and Souza each had two hits for the Suns.
In the nightcap, the Suns lost the script from the first game.
Hagerstown (28-20) fell behind 5-0 in the second inning and never recovered.
Hagerstown starting pitcher Jason Smith (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing five runs on four hits over 1 2/3 innings in his South Atlantic League debut.
Lakewood right fielder Kyrell Hudson hit his first home run of the season — a two-run shot in the second — and had three RBIs to lead the BlueClaws offense. Gauntlet Eldemire was 1-for-3 with a double and two RBIs.
Reliever Luis Paulino (1-1) earned the win with 2 2/3 scoreless innings pitched, while Colton Murray delivered a scoreless ninth inning for the save.
Hagerstown got back to within 6-5 with two runs in the third and three in the fourth innings.
Martinson had an RBI single and Hendry Jimenez added a sacrifice fly for the Suns in the third.
Brian Goodwin’s RBI triple and Skole’s run-scoring double highlighted the outburst in the fourth.