LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Hagerstown Suns and Lexington Legends were slated to finish up the first half of the regular season on Sunday afternoon and were hopeful of getting the game in with no inclement weather. Rain was on the horizon in the early evening and nearly held off long enough for nine innings to complete. Unfortunately, with a 5-5 game in the top of the ninth, Mother Nature decided it was time change, and severe thunderstorms rolled through the area, suspending play. The game ends in a tie and will not continue. Until the game was halted, the fans were treated to a pretty good ballgame to wrap up the first half.
For the third time in as many games in the series, the Hagerstown Suns got on the board first and held the early advantage. This time the visitors broke through in the runs column in the second inning, with a crooked number put up by the bottom of the order. Jake Noll got things going with a single to left field, and Jakson Reetz followed with a knock of his own to right field, advancing Noll to third. With one man out, Anderson Franco delivered a soft line drive to right field scoring Noll and pushing Reetz to second, driving home the first run of the game. Paul Panaccione was next and reached on an infield single to short, but it scored a run thanks to a misplay at first by Manny Olloque of the Legends. The Suns would eventually load the bases after scoring those two runs, but could not score any more.
As was also the case the first two nights, when the Suns scored, so too did the Legends. Lexington exploded for four runs against Suns starter A.J. Bogucki in the second inning, though the defense did not help him out much. A single and an error for Lexington opened the inning, and a single from John Brontsema made it 2-1. Olloque atoned for his error in the top half of the inning by singling to right field, and he was aided by a misplay from Angelo La Bruna to tie the game. A stolen base from Olloque put two runners in scoring position, and a sacrifice fly and a single from Mark Sanchez later, the Legends had a 4-2 lead. An error played crucial in the fourth inning as well, after Marten Gasparini doubled with one down. Sanchez hit a dribbler back in front to Bogucki, and he threw wildly up the first base line, scoring Gasparini, and making it 5-2. Bogucki would end his day after 3.2 innings, allowing 5 hits, 5 runs (3 earned), walking one and striking out a pair.
Hagerstown got things going again against Legends starter Travis Eckert in the top of the fifth. Blake Perkins singled to center with one out, and quickly Aldrem Corredor brought him home on a line drive double back up the middle. It was the 33rd run batted in for the All-Star first baseman, and it made the deficit 5-3. The Suns were able to chase Eckert in the seventh and finally take advantage of the Lexington bullpen. Perkins walked with one out, and Daniel Johnson was hit by a pitch with two outs. Eckert was done, and Jose Veras came in try and get the final out. He was unable to do so, allowing a single to Noll to make it 5-4, and a wild pitch scored Johnson from third base, tying the game 5-5 and sending a wave of momentum on the side of the Suns.
The Suns will send ten All-Stars (seven players, and three coaches) to the South Atlantic League All-Star game in Columbia, South Carolina, on Tuesday. The second half begins at historic Municipal Stadium, Thursday against the Greensboro Grasshoppers. The four-game series is full of exciting promotions featuring Bike Night on Thursday, fireworks on Friday, and two special giveaways. For tickets, head to www.hagerstownsuns.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.