HAGERSTOWN, M.D. - The Hagerstown Suns (11-10) split a double-header with the Augusta GreenJackets (13-7) on Thursday night, winning game one 4-0, and dropping game two 3-2. The double-header split gave Augusta the series win two games to one.
In the first game SS Stephen Perez was responsible for driving in three of the Suns four runs. In the second inning with runners at first and second and one out, Perez smacked a double to left, driving home LF Wes Schill to make it 1-0. That was followed by a groundout to second by 2B Tony Renda, which brought catcher Pedro Severino home from third to make it 2-0. In the fourth Perez hit a two-run homerun over the center field wall and into the visitors bullpen to stretch the Hagerstown lead to four.
Starting RHP Ronald Pena (1-2) picked up the win for the Suns in game one, going five innings and allowing three hits, while walking three and striking out two. RHP Chris Stratton (2-1) was the only pitcher who threw in game one for Augusta, thus suffering the loss. In six innings he allowed four earned runs on just two hits, walking three and striking out 11. RHP Brian Rauh pitched the final two shutout innings for Hagerstown.
The Suns took the initial lead in game two of the double-header, going up 1-0 in the first. Renda led off the inning by hitting a single on a ground ball up the middle. Three batters later following back-to-back strikeouts and with Renda still at first, 1B Shawn Pleffner doubled to right. Renda was able to score on the hit, giving Pleffner his fourth RBI of the year.
Pleffner picked up his fifth RBI in the third on another two-out double, this time to center field. Renda had walked to begin the frame and stole second, so he was easily able to score on Pleffner's hit, making it 2-0 Suns.
All three Augusta runs came in the top of the fourth. A leadoff single by DH Shayne Houck was followed by 3B Mitchell Delfino reaching on a fielder's choice that eliminated Houck from the base path. Then, 1B Ben Turner reached on a fielding error by Perez, and RF Charles Jones followed that up with a single to left thereby loading the bases. Second baseman Stephen Branca drove in the first run of the frame with a single to left that kept the bases loaded, and then an error by Schill on a sacrifice fly let another run score and kept the bases juiced. That was trouble for RHP Pedro Encarnacion (1-1), who proceeded to walk catcher Brad Moss, forcing in what turned out to be the winning run.
As a result Encarnacion suffered the loss. He lasted 3.1 innings, giving up three unearned runs on five hits and two walks while striking out one. RHP Brandon Farley (2-0) earned the win for the GreenJackets. He pitched two innings of relief, surrendering one earned run on one hit, while walking one and striking out two. RHP Derek Law recorded his second save of the season by throwing the final two scoreless innings.
The Suns will next welcome the Hickory Crawdads to Municipal Stadium for a four game series beginning Friday April 26. Hagerstown will send RHP Dixon Anderson (1-1) to the mound for his fifth start of the season. He will square off against RHP C.J. Edwards (1-1) for the GreenJackets. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35pm.