Suns Slip By Shorebirds
Hagerstown, MD- Tim Pahuta's three-run homer capped Hagerstown's remarkable 12-run explosion in the fifth inning, paving the way for the Suns' 13-9 victory over the Shorebirds on Thursday night at Municipal Stadium. Delmarva led 4-1 after four and a half innings when the contest unexpectedly twisted and turned in the bottom of the fifth, a frame in which only one Sun did not bat twice. Four Suns scored twice as Hagerstown took advantage of six walks along with eight hits in the biggest inning of the year against the Delmarva. Designated hitter Sean Rooney was 2-2 in the fifth and 5-5 on the night, the first five hit game for a Hagerstown player this season.
Shorebird starter Luis Noel, after four smooth innings in which he only allowed one unearned run, received the loss after being charged with four of the twelve runs in the fifth. After walking three straight batters, Noel was removed with the bases loaded and one out. Robert Neigebauer took over and experienced a disastrous third of an inning in which he allowed five runs on four hits and a walk. The Suns scored three more times off Andrew Schindling, including the Pahuta homer, before Schindling finally retired Blake Stouffer to end the inning. Amazingly, Stouffer was 0-2 in the frame (0-5 in the game) and was the only Sun who did not score in the fifth. The beneficiary of all the offense was Hagerstown starter Bradley Meyers, who was trailing 4-1 when he left the mound for the final time in the middle of the fifth. He ended up receiving the win, his ninth overall and third over the Shorebirds. Despite allowing five runs (two earned) over the final four innings, Terrence Engles picked up the unusual save by pitching more than three innings and finishing the game.
Delmarva out-hit Hagerstown 15-13 in the losing effort, with Ryan Adams and Wally Crancer leading the attack with three hits and three RBI apiece. Adams drilled his 11th homer of the season in the third inning to give Delmarva, who had been trailing 1-0 at the time, its first lead of the night. Adams finished a double shy of the cycle. The Birds responded to the 12-run fifth immediately by scoring three times in the sixth. With two more in the ninth, the Birds made it a four run game before Brian Valichka, who was the only hitless Shorebird at 0-5, grounded out to end the game. The result snapped streaks for both teams as Delmarva's six consecutive wins were interrupted, while Hagerstown broke their seven-game skid.
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