HAGERSTOWN, MD - Home was not so sweet for the Hagerstown Suns (24-23) on Thursday night, as the Suns got shutout by the Kannapolis Intimidators (22-25) by a final score of 4-0 in the first meeting between the two teams this season. It was the sixth time this season the Suns have failed to score a run in a game.
Three Kannapolis pitchers combined to keep Hagerstown off the scoreboard on Thursday. RHP Yelmison Peralta (2-4) started things off by throwing a season-long six innings, giving up three hits and two walks while striking out one to earn the win. RHP Jacob Morris then took over and pitched two perfect frames to get his second hold of the season. RHP Kelvis Valerio finished things off in the ninth, though he did allow the potential tying run to come to the plate with two outs in the inning and the bases loaded.
LHP Matt Purke (0-1) wound up suffering the loss for the Suns. In his first start in over a year due to having to undergo Tommy John surgery, Purke was able to complete four innings, allowing two earned runs on three hits while striking out three. Two other lefties, R.C. Orlan and David Napoli, also pitched in the game for the Suns. Both Orlan and Napoli were each charged with allowing a run as combined they walked a total of seven hitters.
Kannapolis picked up its first two runs in the third inning. Second baseman Ethan Gross led off with a line drive single to right. Purke was then called for a balk, which allowed Gross to advance to second. First baseman John Ziznewski followed with a double to right, driving in Gross to make it 1-0. Ziznewski wound up scoring the second run of the frame on a double-play hit into by SS Eddy Alvarez.
The other Intimidators runs crossed the plate in the seventh and eighth. In the seventh Orlan walked the bases loaded with one out. That's when CF James Baldwin came to the plate and lifted a ball deep enough to right to allow catcher Brett Austin to tag up and score from third to make it 3-0. In the eighth a missed catch error by Suns 1B Carlos Lopez on a pickoff attempt allowed RF Louie Lechich to charge home from third and set the final score.
These teams will continue their four-game series at Municipal Stadium on Friday May 29. The Suns will send RHP Jefry Rodriguez (1-3) to the mound for his seventh start and appearance this season. He will square off against RHP Luis Martinez (1-4) for Kannapolis. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm. For tickets call 301-791-6266 or go to www.hagerstownsuns.com.