HAGERSTOWN, MD (May 23, 2019) - Ryan Tapani cruised through his first start in the South Atlantic League and the Suns offense came out early to support him in a 5-1 win over the Kannapolis Intimidators at Municipal Stadium Thursday night.
Tapani finished his debut after four scoreless innings. He fanned four while allowing just three hits, but did not factor into the decision.
The offense came out immediately to support him. Cody Wilson started the first with a drive over the center field wall, his third lead-off homer of the year to break the scoreless tie. After that, Justin Connell reached on an error before Jacob Rhinesmith laced a triple into the right field corner to score him and make Hagerstown's (21-25) lead 2-0.
The inning did not end there. Nic Perkins dribbled a single to the outfield to plate Rhinesmith then Kyle Marinconz smacked a double down the left field line off Kannapolis (20-26) starter Kade McClure (L, 1-3) to put runners on second and third with two outs for Jose Sanchez. Sanchez rocketed the ball between the legs of third baseman Luis Curbelo to score the two runners and put the Suns in front 5-0.
That's all the pitching staff needed. Chandler Day (W, 1-1) took the ball from Tapani. The Vanderbilt-product matched the starter's four innings, allowing just two hits while Kannapolis scored one unearned run against him.
Jacob Howell finished off the Intimidators, spinning a scoreless ninth while fanning a pair of batters. It was Howell's first outing since July 1, 2017.
The win put the Suns a game in front of Kannapolis in the standings and one game back of the West Virginia Power for fourth place in the Northern Division.
Hagerstown finishes their series with the Intimidators tomorrow at 7:05 p.m. at Municipal Stadium. RHP Tomas Alastre (3-3, 5.89 ERA) gets the start for Hagerstown, while righty Jonathan Stiever (3-3, 4.59 ERA) gets the nod for Kannapolis.
Tomorrow is High School Pride Night at Municipal Stadium. If you use the promo code for your local area high school, portions of the ticket sale will go towards that high school. For tickets and more information 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.