AUGUSTA, G.A. - For a second straight night the Hagerstown Suns (15-11) managed to put up runs in only one inning against the Augusta GreenJackets (16-10), but for a second straight night that would be all the offense the Suns would need, as they held on for a 3-2 win on Thursday night. The win guarantees that Hagerstown at least remains tied for first place in the South Atlantic League Northern Division standings.
It was the second inning on Thursday in which the Suns bats went to work. Center fielder Wes Schill began the frame by drawing a walk. That was followed by a walk issued to 3B Hunter Bailey, putting runners at first and second with none out. Both runners advanced on a sacrifice bunt, but after SS Stephen Perez was called out on strikes that brought 2B Tony Renda to the plate with two outs. Renda delivered with a single to right, driving in both runners to make it 2-0. Renda wound up scoring what turned out to be the winning run from third when LF Wander Ramos hit a double to center field, the third consecutive two-out hit in the inning for Hagerstown.
Augusta got one of the runs back in the seventh. Second baseman Trevor Brown smacked a one-out single to right. Catcher Eric Sim then walked, pushing Brown to second. A wild pitch allowed Brown to take third, and he scored when RF Charles Jones grounded into a force out at second to make it 3-1.
The final GreenJackets run came in the bottom of the ninth. Sim smoked a one-out solo homerun over the left field wall to make it a one run game. It was Sim's first dinger of the season and the fifth for the GreenJackets this year.
Sim's homerun came against RHP Robert Benincasa, who allowed just that one run in the ninth to record his fourth save of the season. RHP Pedro Encarnacion (2-1) got the start and the win for Hagerstown. He went six innings without allowing a run, giving up just three hits while walking one and striking out three. RHP Chris Stratton (2-2) suffered the loss, his second in as many games against the Suns. He tossed six innings as well, getting charged for three earned runs on five hits while walking three and striking out eight.
The Suns and GreenJackets wrap-up their three game series on Friday May 3. Hagerstown will send RHP Dixon Anderson (1-1) to the mound for his sixth start of the season. He will square off against RHP Kendry Flores (2-0) for the GreenJackets. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.