Hagerstown, MD - Tim Cate earned his second quality start of the season and Alex Flores homered as the Hagerstown Suns fell 9-4 to the Kannapolis Intimidators in the regular-season finale on Monday afternoon. The Suns finish the regular-season with a 25-40 second record and 52-81 overall.
Kannapolis scored two runs in the second inning against Hagerstown starter Tim Cate. Tate Blackman led off with a walk and, with one out, Carlos Perez singled to center to put runners at first and second. Michael Hickman reached on an error to load the bases and Johan Cruz singled to center, plating Blackman and Perez to take a 2-0 lead.
The Intimidators added a run to their lead in the fourth against Cate. With two outs, Cruz belted a home run to left, extending the Kannapolis lead to 3-0.
Hagerstown tied the game in the fourth against Parker Rigler and Kannapolis reliever Bennet Sousa. Jake Scudder led off with a double and Anderson Franco followed with a double to left, plating Scudder to make it a 3-1 game. Omar Meregildo doubled to right-center in the next at-bat to score Franco, cutting the Intimidators lead to 3-2. Kameron Esthay singled to right to put runners on the corners and Alex Flores doubled down the right-field line, tying the game 3-3.
Kannapolis regained the lead in seventh against Hagerstown reliever Jared Brasher. Hickman led of with a single to center and advanced to second on a Cruz sacrifice bunt. With one out, Ramon Beltre reached on an infield single while Hickman advanced to third to put runners at the corners. Tyler Frost walked to load the bases and Luis Curbelo walked, plating Hickman to take a 4-3 lead. Steele Walker hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Beltre, extending the Intimidators lead to 5-3. With two outs, Blackman doubled to center, plating Frost and Curbelo to make it 7-3. The Intimidators added a run in the eighth inning against Suns reliever Jorge Pantoja. Perez led off with a single and Hickman doubled to plate Perez, increasing the Kannapolis lead to 8-3.
Hagerstown scored a run in the bottom of the eighth inning against Kannapolis reliever Jose Nin. With one out, Flores belted his sixth home run of the season to center field to cut the lead to 8-4. With two outs, Nick Choruby doubled down the right-field line, but was stranded as Nin recorded the last out of the inning. The Intimidators scored a run in the ninth against Pantoja as Curbelo homered to left-center, extending the Kannapolis lead to 9-4. The Suns were retired in order in the bottom of the ninth as they fell 9-4 to end the regular season.
Cate spun six innings while allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits with two walks and six strikeouts in a no-decision and his second quality start of the season. Brasher (0-5) pitched one inning while giving up four runs on three hits with two walks in a loss. Pantoja pitched the last two innings, while allowing two runs on four hits with a walk and a strikeout.
Notes: Cate tied a career-high in innings pitched in back-to-back starts… His six strikeouts set a new career-high as well… He earned his second quality start of the season and had them in consecutive outings… It's the 44th quality start by Suns starters this season… Esthay logged his 16th multi-hit game of the year… Cole Freeman extended his on-base streak to 16 games… Scudder had his 18th multi-hit game of the season… Flores had his 11th multi-hit game of the year and his eighth multi-RBI game of the year… Choruby had his eighth multi-hit game of the season… His joins five other Suns hitters with most doubles in a game with two… The Suns are 14-15 in day games this season… Hagerstown ended the season with a 27-38 home record… The Suns' six doubles tied a season-high for doubles in a game… Last time it happened was July 14 against Lakewood…Hagerstown ended the season with a 7-8 record on Mondays… They are 4-3 at home and 3-5 on the road on Mondays… The Suns finish their season-series with Kannapolis 5-10… Hagerstown relievers finish the season with a 22-29 record… The Suns finish the season with a 52-81 record in 2018… Hagerstown and their parent-club, the Washington Nationals, announced an extension to their Player Development Contract on Monday… The two organizations will remain affiliated through the 2020 season… The Suns released their 2019 schedule and have 70 games at Historic Municipal Stadium next season… Hagerstown will open the year on the road with a seven-game road trip beginning on April 4 at Greensboro… The Suns will host the Asheville Tourists for the 2019 home opener on April 11, beginning a seven-game home stand.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.