HAGERSTOWN, MD - The Hagerstown Suns (1-0, 87-53) have had a flair for the dramatic all year, and that continued in game one of the Northern Division Championship Series on Wednesday night, when the Suns came back from 2-0 down in the bottom of the ninth to walk-off with a 3-2 win over the Greensboro Grasshoppers (0-1, 87-53). The win improved the Suns record against Greensboro at Municipal stadium this year to 3-1.
The Suns half of the ninth began with a fielding error committed by Greensboro CF Yefri Perez. The error came on a fly ball hit to center field by Suns 1B Carlos Lopez, and the miss play by Perez allowed Lopez to wind up at third. Lopez scored from third when the next batter, DH Jimmy Yezzo, grounded out to second to make it 2-1. Shortstop David Masters then drew a walk, and that was followed by a double off the bat of RF Wilman Rodriguez, which knotted the game at 2-2. Rodriguez was brought home from second for the winning run on a ground ball single up the middle hit by CF Rafael Bautista. Prior to Bautista's hit the Suns had gone 0-13 with runners in scoring position.
Greensboro also collected both of its runs in the same inning. In the top of the fifth LF Mason Davis hit a leadoff single to right. Perez then laid down a sacrifice bunt and wound up reaching first safely thanks to a missed catch error by Lopez at first. That error also allowed Davis to wind up at third, meaning runners were at first and third with no outs. Perez moved from first to second on a wild pitch, and a second wild pitch allowed Davis to score and Perez to go to third. Designated hitter Austin Dean drove Perez home from third on a single to left to give the Grasshoppers their two-run advantage.
Both Greensboro runs were charged to Suns starter RHP Wander Suero, who went four innings and allowed four hits and two walks while striking out three. It was LHP David Napoli (1-0) who wound up getting the win for Hagerstown. He threw the top of the ninth for the Suns, giving up one hit and one walk. RHP Tyler Bremer (0-1) suffered the loss and blown save for Greensboro. He wound up pitching just 0.1 innings, surrendering the three runs (two earned) on two hits and one walk.
These two teams play game two of the Northern Division Championship Series on Friday September 5 in Greensboro. The Suns will send RHP Reynaldo Lopez (0-0) to the mound for his 10th start and appearance of the year with the Suns. He will square off against LHP Chris Sadberry (0-0) for the Grasshoppers. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00pm.