HAGERSTOWN, Md. - The Hagerstown Suns (35-32, 73-63) capped off the 2017 South Atlantic League season with a hit parade paced by Paul Panaccione , who finished 4-for-4 at the plate with three runs scored and two RBI, in an 11-6 romp over the Lexington Legends (62-75, 28-40) on Labor Day at Municipal Stadium.
Eight different Hagerstown batters recorded base hits as the Suns clubbed a season-high 16 home hits with 11 runs batted in. Panaccione reached base all five times he went to the plate including a double in the third, a hit-by-pitch in the fourth, and three straight singles capped by a two-run liner to right field in the eighth. The 23-year-old Grand Canyon University alum improved his batting average from .165 to .202 in the 32nd and final game of his first SAL season.
The 7-8-9 hitters for the Suns, including Panaccione, scored six runs and rallied for eight RBI. Adderling Ruiz ripped a double to center in the sixth and plated two runs on his second double in the seventh to finish 2-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI. Angelo La Bruna completed his second season in Hagerstown with an impressive 2-for-3 performance that included a two-run single in the sixth and three runs batted in.
Suns starter Ben Braymer (Win, 3-2) left the bases full of Legends in the second and carried a 3-0 lead into the fifth when a passed ball scored Michael Gigliotti. The 23-year-old lefty from Baton Rouge, Louisiana worked around a double in the sixth and struck out a pair in his final inning of work to finish with one earned run on eight hits and four strikeouts in six frames.
The Legends batted 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position and played from behind the entire ballgame. Lexington starter Gerson Garabito (Loss, 4-5) gave up three runs in four innings and Legends relievers allowed six earned runs across four frames.
Jake Barnett took the mound in the seventh and the Legends tallied a double and an RBI single against him. A.J. Bogucki replaced Barnett with two outs and walked in a run with the bases loaded before Manny Olloque beat out an infield single to third that cut the Hagerstown lead to 9-6.
The Suns answered with two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth courtesy of Ruiz and La Bruna before Phil Morse (Save, 5) ended the 2017 season by inducing a groundball to shortstop Carter Kieboom , who threw to Corredor at first for the final out.
Hagerstown finished on a four-game win streak to tally the second-most wins in the SAL Northern Division with an overall record of 73-63 and a 35-32 mark in the second half. Hagerstown bats achieved the third-best team batting average among 14 SAL clubs at .258 and ranked second in the league with a .414 slugging percentage.
The Suns will return to Hagerstown Municipal Stadium in 2018 as the Class A affiliate of the Washington Nationals. The regular season begins on the road against the Rome Braves on April 5 and the home opener is scheduled for Thursday, April 12 against the Greensboro Grasshoppers. For 2018 Suns season ticket information, call (301) 791-6266.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.