'Birds Offense Stumbles, Suns Gain Split
SALISBURY, MD - The Hagerstown Suns got out in front early and never looked back as they slid by the Delmarva Shorebirds 5-1 on Sunday afternoon at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.
Despite the loss, Delmarva's Magic Number to clinch the SAL Northern Division dropped to second-place Greensboro's loss at Lakewood. With third-place Hickory seeing three of their games against Columbia cancelled, both the Grasshoppers and Crawdads sit one mark away from elimination.
Ryan Tapani (3-4) picked up the win for the Suns (28-35), scattering five hits across five shutout innings, his longest outing of the season, walking none and striking out four. Ryan Wilson (1-2) was tagged with the loss for the Shorebirds (46-16). He lasted just three innings, allowing three runs on five hits with two walks, and two punchouts.
Hagerstown opened the scoring early for the fourth straight game in the series. In the first inning, Gilbert Lara deposited a solo homer over the wall in right to give the Suns a 1-0 lead.
The Suns tacked on two more in the third. Cody Wilson began the frame by legging out an infield single, and Kyle Marinconz followed with a walk. Lara then collected his second RBI of the day as he laced a single to center, scoring Wilson. Jacob Rhinesmith followed with a bloop single down the left field line to plate another run. An error then loaded the bases, but Wilson induced a line drive double play and a fly out to escape with no further damage.
Ryne Ogren and Ben Breazeale each singled to lead off the third and fifth, but in each instance Delmarva was turned away empty handed.
The Shorebirds finally broke through in the seventh. Will Robertson roped a double down the left field line to begin the frame and then moved to third on groundout to second. Ogren plated Robertson with a sacrifice fly to center, bringing Delmarva to within two at 3-1.
Hagerstown put the game to bed in the ninth. Ricardo Mendez blooped a single to left with one out and Wilson subsequently walked. Marinconz then slashed a single to left, scoring Mendez and sending Wilson to third. Lara proceeded to execute a perfect safety squeeze, allowing Wilson to score, and giving the game its final score of 5-1.
Ogren collected two hits for the second straight day, finishing 2-for-3 with an RBI for Delmarva. Doran Turchin went 2-for-4 with a double, his team-leading 24th extra-base hit of the season. Robertson doubled and scored, while Ben Breazeale went 2-for-4.
The top three in the order for Hagerstown (Wilson, Marinconz, and Lara), combined to go 6-for-12 with a homer, four RBIs, four runs, and two walks. Lara led the charge, finishing 2-for-4 with a homer, three RBIs, and a run scored. Marinconz was 2-4 with an RBI and a run while Wilson ended 2-for-4 with two runs scored.
The Shorebirds had their chances in the ballgame, but Hagerstown pitching kept Delmarva hitless (0-for-11) with runners in scoring position.
The Shorebirds now visit the West Virginia Power with the chance to clinch the division on Monday night. Grayson Rodriguez (6-1, 2.63) draws the start for Delmarva against West Virginia's Ryne Inman (5-5, 4.42). First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m., and pregame coverage on Fox Sports 960 AM and the MiLB First Pitch App begins at 6:50 with Will DeBoer on the call.
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