Salisbury, Md. - The Delmarva Shorebirds (1-0) scored the go ahead run in the eighth inning on a wild pitch to defeat the Hagerstown Suns 4-3 on Thursday night at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium. Joel Hutter recorded two triples and two runs scored to lift the Shorebirds to their third straight opening day win.
The Shorebirds got on the board first in the second inning. Nik Balog started the inning with a single to left field. Then, Joel Hutter blasted a triple through the left-center field gap to score Balog to give the Shorebirds a 1-0 lead. Two batters later, Roderick Bernadina lifted a sacrifice fly to left field to increase the lead to 2-0.
The Suns capitalized on errors in the fifth inning to take the lead. Craig Manuel singled to open the inning. After stealing second base, he scored on a single later in the inning by Mike McQuillan. With two outs, Roderick Bernadina mishandled a fly ball in shallow right, allowing McQuillan to score the tying run. Then, Greg Lorenzo dropped a fly ball to center field and Estarlin Martinez came around to score to give the Suns a 3-2 lead.
Parker Bridwell lasted five innings in his first start of the year. He surrendered four hits and one earned run. Bridwell struck out four and walked two.
Williams Louico retired the Suns in order in the sixth inning.
Matt Hobgood made his return to the Shorebirds in the seventh inning and earned the win. He tossed two scoreless innings and faced just seven total batters.
The Shorebirds tied the game in the seventh. Wynston Sawyer led off with a single. Sawyer moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and later scored on a single to right field by Anthony Vega.
In the eighth inning, Hutter ripped a two out triple to the right field corner. Then, Hutter scored on a wild pitch by Brian Rauh.
Matt Price entered in the ninth inning and picked up his first save of the year. The Suns loaded the bases with two outs before Price struck out McQuillan to end the game.
The Shorebirds and Suns play game two of the series on Friday, April 5 at 7:05pm. Shorebirds RHP Mark Blackmar will start against Hagerstown RHP Ivan Pineyro.