ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Anderson Franco and Jake Noll both homered as Carlos Pena threw his best six innings of the season to give the Hagerstown Suns (23-15) a 6-3 victory over the Asheville Tourists (17-20) on Tuesday afternoon at McCormick Field.
Pena (Win, 2-2) went to the mound early on an Education Day and allowed just three hits with one run in his longest professional outing. The 23-year-old Lindsey Wilson College (KY) alum struck out three Tourists with 80 total pitches.
Suns catcher Matt Reistetter made two great defensive plays for Pena. In the bottom of the fourth, with runners at second and third, Reistetter corralled a wild throw from Pena and then outsmarted Asheville runner Vince Fernandez with Angelo La Bruna to record the third out on a tag at the plate. Reistetter again recorded the third out in the fifth when he caught Max George trying to steal third.
Hagerstown took a 2-0 lead in the first and never trailed. Nick Banks drove in Aldrem Corredor and Jake Noll on a double to the wall to open the scoring. Noll added an RBI groundout in the sixth, and later, after Banks forced Asheville starter Erick Julio (Loss, 3-4) further into his pitch count with a two-out single, Franco took him deep for his second homer this season.
Banks finished a team-best 2-for-4 at the plate with 2 RBI and a run scored. Daniel Johnson also recorded two base hits and scored in the sixth.
Noll added his sixth homer run of the year for insurance in the eighth as the Suns drove in their 190th RBI to lead all 14 South Atlantic League teams in 2017.
Asheville third baseman Colton Welker hit a solo homer against Hagerstown reliever Hayden Howard in the eighth. All four of his round-trippers this year have come against the Suns.
The Tourists plated one more run in the ninth against Kyle Simonds , but the righty recorded the final three outs in a speedy 2-hour, 21-minute victory. Hagerstown took three of four games in Asheville and finished the weeklong road trip 4-3. The Suns remain in first place atop the SAL Northern Division.
Next up, the Suns will enjoy a league-wide off day on Wednesday before opening a four-game series against the second-place Lakewood BlueClaws (22-16) during Thirsty Thursday at Hagerstown Municipal Stadium with beer prices starting at just two dollars each. For tickets, call 301-791-6266 or visit hagerstownsuns.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.