KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (May 16, 2013) -- The Hagerstown Suns scored nine runs over the seventh and eighth innings to upend the Kannapolis Intimidators, 10-7, in the series opener Thursday at CMC-NorthEast Stadium. Kannapolis (14-23) led 4-1 before first-place Hagerstown (23-14) jumped in front with four runs in the top of the seventh.
Kannapolis starter Brandon Brennen worked into the seventh inning for the first team this season but quickly got into trouble, allowing a leadoff home run to Brandon Miller (8). Three of the next four Suns batters singled, chasing Brennan from the game with two on, one out and Kannapolis up 4-3.
Tony Renda, the Nationals second-round pick in the June 2012 draft, came through with a rare 2-run sacrifice fly to deep centerfield off reliever Todd Kibby, driving in both inherited runners and putting the Suns ahead, 5-4.
Brennan (1-6), the White Sox No. 23 Prospect according to Baseball America, worked a season-high 6 1/3 innings in the loss, allowing five runs (three earned) on six hits while striking out one and walking one.
The Suns took a 10-4 lead into the bottom of the eighth but Jason Coats cut the lead in half with a two-out, three-run home run to the opposite field, his second of the year. Hagerstown's Cody Davis came on to work a scoreless ninth for the save (1), preserving a win for reliever Nick Lee (1-0) in his first game of the season.
After the Suns took a 1-0 lead on a Shawn Pleffner double in the top of the first, the Intimidators responded in the home half of the inning. Micah Johnson reached on an error and stole second base -- his Minor League-leading 36th stolen base of the season. Michael Johnson followed with a single, and Jason Coats doubled in Micah Johnson to tie the game. Kyle Robinson and Patrick Palmeiro followed with RBI-groundouts for a 3-1 lead.
Kale Kiser led off the bottom of the fourth with a no-doubt home run, extending the Intimidators lead to 4-1. It was Kiser's team-leading fourth home run of the season.
The Intimidators and Suns take the field for Game 2 of the 4-game series on Friday at 7:05 p.m. as RHP Kyle Hansen (0-0, 6.75) takes the mound for the Intimidators against RHP Ivan Pineyro (2-2, 3.64) of Hagerstown. For ticket information, call the F&M Bank Box Office or visit IntimidatorsBaseball.com.