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SALISBURY, M.D. - The Hagerstown Suns (0-1) fell in their season opener to the Delmarva Shorebirds (1-0), 4-3, despite out-hitting the Shorebirds and committing fewer errors. Hagerstown out-hit Delmarva 7-6, and the Suns committed just one error while the Shorebirds committed three.
All of Hagerstown's offense came in the top of the fifth. Catcher Craig Manuel led off the inning with a line drive single up the middle. Following a fly out to left, Manuel stole second with 2B Tony Renda at the plate. Renda wound up popping out, but Manuel was brought home from second on a line drive single by 3B Mike McQuillan. Back-to-back fielding errors followed McQuillan's single, allowing both McQuillan and DH Estarlin Martinez to score, thereby turning a one-run deficit into a one-run advantage.
Delmarva built up its initial lead in the bottom of the second. DH Nik Balog's leadoff single was followed by a triple off the bat of 3B Joel Hutter, plating Balog for the first run of the game. Hutter then scored from third two batters later when RF Roderick Bernadina hit a sacrifice fly to center field.
The Shorebirds tied the game at 3-3 in the seventh when LF Anthony Vega singled to right with runners on the corners and one out. One inning later Hutter hit his second triple of the game, and he came around to score what turned out to be the winning run on a wild pitch by Suns RHP Brian Rauh (0-1).
Rauh suffered the loss, tossing three innings and allowing two earned runs on two hits and two walks while striking out three. RHP Dixon Anderson started for Hagerstown and went five innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits, while striking out four without walking anyone. RHP Matthew Hobgood (1-0) earned the win for Delmarva, throwing two scoreless innings of one-hit ball in relief. RHP Parker Bridwell started for the Shorebirds and went five innings.
These two teams will battle again Friday night in Salisbury when the Suns will send RHP Ivan Pineyro (0-0) to the mound. He will square off against RHP Mark Blackmar (0-0) for Delmarva. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.