LAKEWOOD, N.J. —The Hagerstown Suns may feel this loss for a few days.
The Suns took a 6-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning against Lakewood on Saturday night, only to watch the BlueClaws rally back, finally taking the lead with a four-run eighth inning for a shocking 12-9 victory in the South Atlantic League game.
Hagerstown (48-31, 6-4) took a 2-0 lead in the first inning against BlueClaws starter Yari Sosa. Brian Goodwin led off with a double, Cutter Dykstra walked and one out later, Matthew Skole walked to load the bases. Goodwin scored on Steven Souza’s fielder’s choice groundout, and Dykstra scored when Souza’s steal of second led to throwing errors by catcher Josh Ludy and shortstop Tim Carver.
The Suns made it 3-0 in the third. Caleb Ramsey drew a one-out walk and scored on Skole’s double to left.
Hagerstown doubled its lead to 6-0 in the fourth against reliever Gabriel Arias. Jeremy Mayo led off with a single, and with one out, Goodwin and Dykstra singled to bring Mayo home. After a double-steal by Goodwin and Dykstra, Souza drove both runners in with a two-out single.
Lakewood (32-47, 6-4) got on the board in the bottom of the fourth against Hagerstown starter Christopher McKenzie. Ryan Howard — the Philadelphia Phillies star who was making his second rehab appearance with the BlueClaws — walked with one out and Christopher Duffy and Aaron Altherr followed with singles to bring Howard home.
The BlueClaws made a game of it with a four-run fifth to get within 6-5. Ludy and Alejandro Villalobos led off the inning with doubles to score the first run. With one out, Kyrell Hudson hit an RBI single, Kelly Dugan singled and Howard hit an RBI double to chase McKenzie. Duffy closed the rally with an RBI single off reliever Ben Hawkins.
The Suns answered with a three-run sixth to open the lead back to 9-5. With two outs, Hendry Jimenez and Justin Miller each singled to set up Brett Newsome’s three-run home run, his sixth of the season.
Lakewood cut it to 9-6 in the bottom of the sixth on Villalobos’ one-out triple and Carver’s sacrifice fly.
The BlueClaws got within one run for the second time with a two-run seventh to make it 9-8. Suns reliever Bobby Lucas walked Howard, Altherr and Ludy before being replaced by Colin Bates (2-1) with two outs. Bates gave up Villalobos’ two-run single but got out of the inning with a groundout.
Lakewood finally took the lead with a four-run eighth. Hudson led off with a single, Dugan reaches on a catcher’s interference call and Howard singled to load the bases with no outs. A passed ball on a swinging strike three allowed Hudson to score the tying run. Bates intentionally walked Altherr before Maikel Franco hit a three-run double to center for a 12-9 lead.
Kenneth Giles (1-2) got the win for the BlueClaws, pitching the final two innings. Hudson finished 4-for-5 and Howard went 2-for-2 with three walks. Villalobos was 3-for-5 with three RBIs.
Mayo went 3-for-4 for the Suns, while Goodwin went 3-for-5 with two doubles and Newsome was 2-for-5 with three RBIs.