Hagerstown, MD - Third baseman Matt Skole belted the first pitch he saw in the 10th inning over the right center field wall to give the Hagerstown Suns (7-8) an 11-9 walk-off victory over the Lakewood Blue Claws (6-9) at Municipal Stadium on Thursday night.
Skole raised his league leading RBI total to 18 with the two-run homer, also snapping a five game losing streak for the Suns. After falling behind 7-0 after 2 ½ innings, the Suns rallied for six runs in the bottom of the third, highlighted by an Adrian Nieto grand slam (2). Shortstop Jason Martinson drove in a pair of runs with three hits on the night and scored three times (23) to extend his league lead in runs scored. Suns first baseman Justin Miller ended an 0-for-24 slump with a two-run single in the game.
Suns reliever Aaron Barrett (1-0) earned the win pitching 1.1 innings out of the bullpen to finish the game. The Suns used four relievers in all after starting pitcher Chris McKenzie allowed six runs (five earned) on five hits and three walks in the first inning.
Blue Claws' starting pitcher Colin Kleven did not factor in the decision lasting 2.2 innings and giving up six runs on five hits, four walks and three strike outs. Closer Ryan Duke (0-1) was tabbed with the loss, with Skole's homer driving in the first runs against him in six innings this season.
Lakewood shortstop Tyler Greene knocked in three runs and finished the night 1-for-4 from the eighth spot in the lineup. Third baseman Maikel Franco went 2-for-3 with his second home run of the season while first baseman Kelly Dugan hit a two-run home run in the game.
The Suns host Lakewood in game two of the series at Municipal Stadium on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. when RHP Wirkin Estevez (1-0) faces LHP Lino Martinez (2-0) for Lakewood. After the game, the Suns will shoot off a spectacular Zambelli Fireworks show. Individual game tickets, season tickets, mini-plans, and group are now on sale. For more information and to reserve your seat at Municipal Stadium, call 301-791-6266, or www.hagerstownsuns.com. The Hagerstown Suns are owned by Hagerstown Baseball, LLC.