Columbia, SC - Luis Garcia led the Hagerstown Suns with three hits in an 8-3 loss to the Columbia Fireflies on Monday night at Spirit Communications Park. The Suns are 1-4 overall and will play the second game of the three-game set tomorrow evening against Columbia with a 7:05 PM first pitch.
Columbia was the first to score, putting up six runs in the second inning against Jackson Stoeckinger in his first start for the Suns. Rigoberto Terrazas led off the inning with a single and moved to third when Walter Raquin's laid down a sacrifice bunt compounded by a throwing error on Stoeckinger that also allowed Raquin to take second. Scott Manea doubled to right, plating both Terrazas and Raquin. Giovanney Alfonzo doubled to left in the next at-bat to score Manea and give the Fireflies a 3-0 advantage. Blake Tiberi singled, moving Alfonzo to third and Matt Winaker lifted a sacrifice fly to center to score Alfonzo while Tiberi stayed at first. Jeremy Vasquez homered to right on the first pitch he saw and put Columbia out to a 6-0 lead.
The Suns chipped away at the Fireflies lead against starter Chris Viall in the third. With one out, Armond Upshaw walked and went to second on a wild pitch. Cole Freeman singled to center and Upshaw scored to make it a 6-1 game. Luis Garcia bunted for a single and Viall made an errant throw to first, allowing Freeman to go to third and Garcia to second. Juan Soto sent a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Freeman to turn it into a 6-2 ballgame.
The Fireflies extended their lead in the bottom of the inning with Stoeckinger still on the mound. Rasquin doubled with one out and went to third when Manea flew out to right. Alfonzo reached on a throwing error by Suns shortstop Garcia that also allowed Rasquin to score and give the Fireflies a 7-2 lead. A passed ball moved Alfonzo into scoring position, and Edgardo Fermin singled to right allowing Alfonzo to score from second and extend Columbia's lead to 8-2.
Hagerstown inched closer in the eighth against Columbia reliever Joshua Payne. Kameron Esthay led off the inning, sending a 3-2 pitch over the right field wall to make it an 8-3 game. The homer was Esthay's first of the season and sixth of his professional career. The one run was all the offense the Suns could muster, losing the game with an 8-3 final score.
Stoeckinger (0-1) went three innings in the loss, allowing eight runs (two earned) on 11 hits with three strikeouts and a home run. Kyle Johnston did not allow a hit over three scoreless innings, issuing one walk with four strikeouts in his second appearance of the season. Max Engelbrekt entered in the seventh and threw two innings while allowing three hits with a strikeout in his Suns debut.
Notes: Garcia entered the game without a hit through the first four games… Esthay's homer in the eighth was the first home run hit in any inning but the first this season… Upshaw had his second multi-hit effort of 2018… Harris and Garcia both had their first multi-hit games of the season… With Engelbrekt making his debut on Monday, every player on the Suns active roster has played in at least one game… Columbia's six runs in the second inning are the most allowed in any inning this season as are their five hits… All but one hitter in the Columbia order had at least one hit… The Suns play the second game of the three-game set against the Columbia Fireflies on Tuesday with a 7:05 PM first pitch at Spirit Communications Park… Hagerstown will send RHP Brigham Hill (0-1, 2.25 ERA) to the mound against Columbia RHP Marcel Renteria (0-0, 0.00 ERA) on Monday…
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.