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Suns Survive 'Hopper Rally to Win 10th

Tapani Strong in Relief to Snap 3-Game Skid
April 26, 2019

HAGERSTOWN, MD (April 26, 2019) - With both offenses churning, the Suns bullpen survived a four-run eighth to beat the Greensboro Grasshoppers 9-8 at Municipal Stadium Friday night.On a night where no pitcher had an answer to two potent offenses, Ryan Tapani  (W, 2-1) spun 3.1 hitless frames while wringing up three

HAGERSTOWN, MD (April 26, 2019) - With both offenses churning, the Suns bullpen survived a four-run eighth to beat the Greensboro Grasshoppers 9-8 at Municipal Stadium Friday night.
On a night where no pitcher had an answer to two potent offenses, Ryan Tapani  (W, 2-1) spun 3.1 hitless frames while wringing up three batters. Tapani came in for Joan Adon , who earned the start, but came into a jam in the fourth inning. Adon finished allowing four runs, all earned, while walking half a dozen batters. This was the second consecutive game a Suns (10-12) starter has walked six batters.

Aaron Fletcher closed out the game. He struggled in the eighth, walking a pair of batters and hitting two. Jamori Blash committed two errors en route to four runs scoring for the Grasshoppers (12-9).
The offense was on another level though. After Greensboro added one in the top of the first, Hagerstown struck back with a three spot of their own. After Justin Connell was hit by a pitch, Jacob Rhinesmith placed a single in front of Lolo Sanchez in left to plate the game-tying run. After a Gilbert Lara  single, the newest addition to the Suns roster, Omar Meregildohit a two-out double to score both Rhinesmith and Lara to push the Suns in front 3-1.
After that, Hagerstown never trailed.
Rhinesmith finished the night 3-4, scoring three runs and driving a run in. The night after ending his nine-game hitting streak, the right fielder bounced right back. Meanwhile, Lara increased his hitting streak to 12 games, which is tied for the longest hitting streak in the South Atlantic League this year. Justin Dean was the first to accomplish the streak for the Rome Braves, but his streak ended April 17. Currently, both Lara and West Virginia Power outfielder Jarred Kelenic are riding a 12-game streak. 
The Suns added a run in the second and third. Justin Connell doubled in Juan Pascal in the second to put the Suns in front 4-1. In the third, after Greensboro added a run, Meregildo grounded into a double play, but during that time, Rhinesmith was able to scamper home to increase the Suns lead to 5-2.
Hagerstown added three more runs in the fifth, doing all their damage with two outs. Five Suns batters reached base safely, with Pablo O'Connor pushing a two-run single up the middle to put the Suns in front 8-4.
Tomorrow, the Suns continue their series with the Grasshoppers at Municipal Stadium with first pitch set for 4:05 p.m. The Suns will start LHP Tim Cate (1-2, 1.27 ERA) and Greensboro counters with RHP Osvaldo Bido (3-0, 0.40 ERA).
This homestand comes to an end Sunday with Sunday Funday. Kids can play catch on the field before the game and run the bases after the conclusion of the game and players will be available to sign autographs. Saturday is Autism Awareness night. There'll be plenty of facts and information about Autism and how it affects families throughout the United States at Municipal Stadium. We'll be turning the stadium blue to honor those affected by Autism and to raise awareness for the cause. For tickets and more information about the Suns visit hagerstownsuns.com or call 301-791-6266.