Hagerstown Suns right-handed pitcher Lucas Giolito and Charleston RiverDogs left-handed pitcher Chaz Hebert dominated a pitchers' duel that ended in a 1-0 Suns victory in a three-hit shutout on Thursday night in front of 4,304 fans at Riley Park in South Atlantic League baseball.
Giolito tossed six shutout innings while Hebert yielded an unearned run in a career-high seven innings.
Giolito, the top-ranked Washington Nationals prospect according to Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, and MLB.com, retired the final 13 batters he faced in a quality start.
Hebert opened the game with perfect pitching through the first 32/3 innings of his quality start. He picked up three strikeouts in that early stretch and received strong defense behind him. The best fielding play was a diving catch by third baseman Miguel Andujar, who caught a line drive from Wilman Rodriguez that was barely off the infield dirt to close the third inning.
Hagerstown (26-14 second half, 70-40 overall) scored an unearned run in the fourth inning to take a 1-0 lead. Wilmer Difo reached on a two-out single that was coupled with an error, ending up at second base on the play. Former Clemson Tiger Spencer Kieboom lifted a bloop single into left-center that scored Difo for the game's only run.
Following a 23-minute rain delay in the middle of the ninth, Charleston (20-19, 53-56) was unable to get on the board as Wander Suero struck out the side to end the game.
Captain Marvin L. Jones, Commanding Officer of Naval Health Clinic Charleston, tossed a great strike during his ceremonial first pitch. The color guard was also provided by Naval Health Clinic Charleston. Justin Rodgers, one of 4,304 fans in attendance, was pied in the face as the first winner of the DeSano Pizza Bakery Pie of the Game.
Game 2 of the four-game series is set for 7:05 p.m. on Friday. Charleston RHP Gabe Encinas (0-1, 9.90 ERA) will pitch against Hagerstown RHP Wirkin Estevez (0-0, 6.55 ERA). ISHPI Red Shirt Friday from 103.5 WEZL features postgame postgame fireworks after the contest. Before the contest, Rob English will be officially inducted into the Professional Baseball Scouts Hall of Fame. Plus, Gullah Heritage Night includes an official proclamation declaring this week "Gullah/Geechee Nation Appreciation Week."
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