Columbia, SC - The Hagerstown Suns lost a two-run lead late in Wednesday night's 8-3 loss to the Columbia Fireflies in the rubber match of the three-game series at Spirit Communications Park. The loss drops the Suns to 2-5 and will take on the Greensboro Grasshoppers in the home opener at Hagerstown Municipal Stadium on Thursday night with a 6:05 PM first pitch.
The Fireflies started the scoring against Suns lefty Nick Raquet in his second start of the season. Edgardo Fermin singled to left, and with one out Matt Winaker singled to center with Fermin going to third. Jeremy Vasquez grounded out to Raquet, but Fermin scored to give Columbia a 1-0 lead. Raquet struck out Rigoberto Terrazas to end the inning.
The Suns overtook Columbia in the fifth inning against Tony Dibrell, who started the game for the Fireflies. Aldrem Corredor led off the frame with a single to center and Joey Harris walked behind him. Armond Upshaw laid down a sacrifice bunt, moving Harris to second and Corredor to third with one out. Cole Freeman doubled to left, driving in both runners and giving the Suns a 2-1 advantage. With two outs, Juan Soto sent his second triple of the season into center field, scoring Freeman and extending the Hagerstown lead to 3-1.
In the seventh, Columbia cut in to the Suns lead against reliever Carlos Acevedo. Vazquez led off the inning with a double to center and with one out Raphael Gladu singled to left. Vazquez scored to pull the Fireflies within a run, 3-2.
The Fireflies continued their charge in the eighth inning against Acevedo and the Suns. Dan Rizzie singled to left and went to second when Fermin bunted for a single. Blake Tiberi walked to load the bases and Winaker singled to right, scoring Rizzie to tie the game while keeping the bases loaded. Terrazas singled to center to score Fermin and Columbia took the lead, 4-3. Acevedo struck out Gladu, but Walter Rasquin tripled to center, driving in three runs to give the Fireflies a 7-3 advantage. After Jay Jabs was hit by a pitch, Dan Rizzie singled to left, plating Rasquin to give Columbia a six-run inning and an 8-3 lead.
Hagerstown tried to mount a comeback in the ninth inning against Fireflies reliever Trey Cobb. Joey Harris led off the inning with a single, and with one out Freeman singled to right. Yasel Antuna lined out, but Soto walked to load the bases. Anderson Franco hit a ground ball back to Cobb on the mound, who threw to first for the final out of the game with the Suns taking their fifth loss of the season, 8-3.
Raquet went six innings in a no decision, holding Columbia to one run on two hits with two walks and six strikeouts. Acevedo (0-1) threw two innings in relief, allowing seven runs on eight hits with a walk and a strikeout.
Notes: Freeman had his first multi-RBI game of the season… Corredor had his first multi-hit game of the year… Soto set a career-high with three walks… All but two Suns reached base safely… Raquet allowed the lowest run total by a starter this season… He struck out a career-high six batters… He tied his career-high in innings pitched with 6.0…He also tied his career-best low-hit game of 5.0 or more innings pitched by holding Columbia to two base knocks… Hagerstown stole two bases, the first time this season the team totaled more than one in a game… Soto was issued the first intentional walk for a Suns batter this season… Acevedo allowed the first earned runs of the year for the Suns bullpen, who went 26 innings without allowing one… The Suns head to Hagerstown Municipal Stadium for the 2018 home opener against the Greensboro Grasshoppers on Thursday with a 6:05 PM first pitch… Thursday is the home opener, and the first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive a 2018 magnetic schedule… It's also a Thirsty Thursday, where fans can take advantage of beer specials starting a $2… Hagerstown will send RHP Jackson Tetreault (0-1, 9.64 ERA) to the mound against Greensboro LHP Nestor Bautista (0-0, 0.00 ERA)… The broadcast can be heard, starting with the pregame show at 5:50 p.m. on www.hagerstownsuns.com and going to multimedia and "Listen Live" which also has downloads for a free app on the iPhone, iPad, Blackberry, and Android… The broadcast is also available on the Hagerstown Suns Radio Network in the Tune-In Radio App.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.