Suns Win Pitcher's Duel with West Virginia
HAGERSTOWN, Md. - Weston Davis topped West Virginia Power ace Luis Escobar in a pitcher's duel on Thursday night by retiring 14 batters in a row during the middle innings of a 3-1 victory for the Hagerstown Suns (26-19, 64-50) at Municipal Stadium.
In the top of the first, Davis (Win, 3-4) allowed a leadoff single to Adrian Valerio, who scored two batters later on a sacrifice fly by Albert Baur. The 20-year-old Suns starter gave up two more hits in the first before silencing the Power bats during his next five frames. Nobody reached base against Davis between the second and fifth innings.
The Suns tallied two hits and struck out six times against Escobar (Loss, 9-6) through the first four innings but manufactured a lead in the fifth. Oliver Ortiz led off with a sharp double down the right field line and Paul Panaccione followed with a walk. Blake Perkins laid down a perfect bunt along the first base line and reached with no throw for an RBI single that scored Ortiz. Telmito Agustin laid down his own bunt single back to the pitcher and Aldrem Corredor rolled a double-play grounder to short that plated Panaccione for a 2-1 Suns lead.
Davis allowed two singles in the sixth but picked up the shut-down inning by stranding runners at second and third with a groundout back to the mound that finished off his night with six complete innings, four hits, one earned run, and three strikeouts.
Hagerstown added an insurance run in the seventh. Ortiz led off with a walk, stole second, advanced to third on a flyout, and Agustin picked up an RBI on his groundout back to Power reliever Blake Cederlind. Ortiz led the Suns with two runs scored.
Hayden Howard entered from the pen and battled with seven baserunners aboard through his three innings of relief work but held the Power off the scoreboard. A pair of singles in the top of the ninth brought Andrew Walker to the plate with a chance to tie or take the lead but Howard struck him out swinging to end the game.
The Suns won their fourth game in a row to maintain their first-place tie with the Hickory Crawdads atop the SAL Northern Division second-half standings and opened a two-game cushion over the Power (25-22, 55-58). On Friday, the Suns host the second contest in this pivotal four-game series with the Power at Municipal Stadium. Suns right-handed starter Matthew DeRosier (1-2, 5.68) is scheduled to throw the first pitch at 7:05 p.m. and a postgame fireworks spectacular will light up the skies above
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