Suns Fall in Back-And-Forth with Hickory
HAGERSTOWN, MD - The Suns allowed two runs in the top of the ninth, which proved to be the difference in a 9-7 loss to the Hickory Crawdads at Municipal Stadium Monday afternoon.
After a back-and-forth affair sent the game to the ninth inning tied 7-7, the Crawdads took the lead for good off of Hagerstown left-hander Aaron Fletcher (L, 1-3). After a double and a single put two men on to start the frame, Jonathan Ornelas singled into right to score the go-ahead run for the Crawdads. A Curtis Terry sacrifice fly later in the inning gave Hickory the two-run lead.
The Suns (19-24) couldn't answer Hickory's ninth-inning rally. Hagerstown put two men on base with two outs in the final frame, but Nick Snyder (S, 2) relieved Abdiel Mendoza (W, 2-0) to record the final out. He got Tyler Cropley to line out on the first pitch he threw to end the ballgame.
Hagerstown was trailing before the bats could even get to the plate in this one as the Crawdads (28-15) scored four runs in the first inning off of Suns starter Tim Cate. Run-scoring hits fromSherten Apostel, Melvin Novoa, and Frainyer Chavez put Hickory on top early.
Cate would settle down after that, however. The lefty ended up tossing six innings, allowing five runs on eight hits. The UConn product struck out five Crawdads and did not issue a walk. Despite finishing the start strong, Cate's streak of six consecutive quality starts was snapped.
Hagerstown's offense answered quickly in the first off of Crawdads starter Hans Crouse.Ricardo Mendez crossed home on an error and then Justin Connell scored on a double play to make it a 4-2 game.
The Suns got one more back in the fourth, and then trailing 5-3 in the seventh, started another rally. With the bases loaded and one out, a Gilbert Lara RBI single made it 5-4, and then Jacob Rhinesmith's RBI groundout tied the game.
It looked like Hickory would get out of the inning, but an error from Apostel at third base allowed Connell to score and put Hagerstown on top 6-5.
The situation would change twice again in the eighth. Curtis Terry's two-run homer in the top half put Hickory back on top, but Trey Vickers answered with an RBI double in the bottom half to tie the game at seven.
After splitting the series with the Crawdads, Hagerstown will begin a four-game series with the Kannapolis Intimidators Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. at Municipal Stadium. The Suns offer RHP Jake Irvin (2-3, 5.06 ERA) to start the series and Kannapolis returns with RHP Davis Martin (3-3, 6.02 ERA).
The Suns continue their eight-game homestand tomorrow at Municipal Stadium. There are plenty of reasons to head out to the ballpark, Bark in the Park May 22 and Thirsty Thursday May 23. For tickets or more information call 301-791-6266 or visit hagerstownsuns.com.
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