Eighth proves to be not so great for Suns in loss

July 03, 2012

LAKEWOOD, N.J. — The Lakewood BlueClaws had a few scores to settle with the Hagerstown Suns this season.

Lakewood got its measure of revenge during a five-game series and did most of it in memorable fashion.

Brock Stassi drove in five runs and capped Lakewood’s five run eighth with a three-run, inside-the-park home run to lift Lakewood to an 8-3 victory over the Suns (49-33, 7-5) for the fourth time in five games.

The BlueClaws, who had been handled by Hagerstown in the first half of the season, used inventive ways to knock off the Suns in the series. Lakewood scored the deciding runs in the eighth inning in each of the first two games and scored twice in the 11th on Monday to secure victories.

The BlueClaws broke a 3-3 tie in the eighth off Suns reliever Colin Bates (2-2).

Gauntlett Eldemire opened the rally with a bunt single and scored on Kelly Dugan’s double to put Lakewood ahead. Dugan scored on Aaron Altherr’s single.

Altherr stole second and took third on a throwing error before Maikel Franco walked. Stassi followed with his drive to center field that turned into the three-run home run to seal the victory.

Lakewood’s Blake Mascarello (2-0) won in relief.

The Suns took a 1-0 lead in the first with the help of some Lakewood generosity.

Brian Goodwin led off with a single against Lakewood starter Colin Kleven and took third when it was misplayed by Dugan. Billy Burns reached on a fielding error by Franco at third to drive in the run.

Hagerstown took a 2-0 lead in the third on a one-out double by Goodwin followed by singles from Burns and Cutter Dykstra to score the run.

Lakewood tied the game in the fourth against Suns starter Bobby Hansen Jr. Dugan, Chris Duffy and Altherr each hit one-out singles to load the bases. Franco cashed in with an RBI single and Stassi drove in the tying run with a grounder to first.

Hagerstown regained the lead in the sixth as Burns and Dykstra each singled before Steven Souza Jr. flew out. Burns scored from second when Lakewood Tim Carver failed to catch the relay throw in from the outfield.

Lakewood retied the game in the bottom of the inning as Altherr singled and stole second before scoring on Stassi’s single to right.

The Suns’ offense collected eight hits, all but one by Goodwin, Burns and Dykstra, the top three hitters in their batting order.

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