Friday, May 3 - Suns 9, GreenJackets 1
The Suns completed the sweep behind six no-hit innings by starter Dixon Anderson. The 6-foot-5 right-hander, a ninth-rounder out of California in 2012, mixed a solid two-seamer with hard sink and run, and a good breaking ball to keep the GreenJackets off balance. Most contact was driven into the ground, resulting in a large amount of ground balls and only a couple that reached the outfield.
Anderson struck out seven while walking five, meaning he did well to go six innings. Hagerstown manager Tripp Keister spoke of the staff preaching fastball command to Anderson this season, and he commanded it well despite the walks. The Cal product has an extreme crossfire motion, one that caused me to immediately think of Jered Weaver. In describing Anderson after the game, Keister also mentioned Weaver as a comparable motion.
Keister also said as a result of his motion, Anderson fights to maintain consistency with his secondaries, which can be common in crossfire deliveries. He had every pitch working in this game.
Matt Foat and Stephen Perez each had two hits and two RBI for the Suns. Shawn Pleffner, who is capable of launching one with easy raw power, never showed it in the three games, but he had three hits and an RBI in the series finale. Mike McQuillan had three hits and an RBI, and he was an absolute vaccuum for Hagerstown at third base, helping keep Anderson's no-hit bid alive.
Augusta starter Kendry Flores was overshadowed by Anderson, but he also put up a solid performance, allowing two unearned runs on three hits in 5.2 innings. He only walked one, giving him four on the season, and struck out five.
The lone GreenJackets hit was a single by Mitch Delfino, but it didn't come off former Cal teammate Anderson. Matt Duffy had three walks and Shayne Houck added two.
Notable GreenJackets lines:
Kendry Flores: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
Matt Duffy: 0-1, 3 BB
Notable Suns lines:
Dixon Anderson: 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 5 BB, 7 K, 8 swinging strikes, 8 ground balls
Stephen Perez: 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI
Matt Foat: 2-4, 2 RBI
Shawn Pleffner: 3-5, RBI
Mike McQuillan: 3-4, RBI
"I felt good. Like any outing, it takes a little bit to get into the flow of things. I think that was pretty obvious at the beginning of the game. Cruised for a while there. Got lucky to make some good pitches, and when I needed it was able to make some good pitches and get through some quick innings that allowed me to get through the sixth.
"I think I was able to throw, early on, my breaking ball and two-seamer where I wanted them and that really helped me out. Got into some good counts to strike some guys out when I needed it, especially with all the walks, couple punch outs to get through those innings. I generally live with that two-seamer so when that’s good I have an opportunity to get a lot of ground ball outs. That helped me out today.
(On former Cal teammate Mitch Delfino): "Mitch and I talk periodically as it is. I think he was messing with me a little in that at-bat when he called a timeout before I even threw a pitch. I kind of knew that, so I got a good chuckle out of that. Mitch and I are good friends so it’s all in good fun.
"It’s fun to get to play with Renda and against Mitch. I played with both those guys for two years at Cal. It’s fun to get to see them again, and I get to see Renda every day, which is awesome."