SALISBURY, MD (July 7, 2019) - The Suns scored one run in the eighth to tie it and one run in the ninth to take the lead on their way to a 5-4 comeback victory over the Delmarva Shorebirds at Perdue Stadium Sunday.
Hagerstown (36-52, 6-12) entered the eighth inning trailing by one, but tied the game when a Phil Caulfield single and an error allowed Kyle Marinconz to score. The Suns then took the lead in the ninth when an RBI groundout off the bat of Israel Pineda plated Drew Mendoza.
Jacob Howell (W, 2-1) came back out to the mound in the bottom of the ninth after a scoreless eighth and make quick work of the Delmarva (61-26, 13-5) bats, setting them down one-two-three to secure the victory and salvage the final game of the series.
The bats got it done late, but they would not have been in that position if it weren't for the defensive plays from Justin Connell. The left fielder threw out runners at the plate in both the seventh and eighth innings to keep the game close.
Jackson Stoeckinger got the ball for the Suns and was much improved in his second start of the season. After allowing five runs over 2.1 innings in his first start July 2, Stoeckinger responded with 4.2 strong innings Sunday. The lefty allowed just two runs and struck out four.
Delmarva first got to Stoeckinger in the third on a Nick Horvath RBI double. The Shorebirds added another run in the fifth on a JC Encarnacion RBI double that chased Stoeckinger from the game. Angel Guillen relieved him, and after a walk got a key out to keep the Suns in front.
But it was Guillen who let that lead slip in the sixth. After the Shorebirds got back-to-back singles to start the frame, Jaylen Ferguson came through with a two-run triple against Guillen to put Delmarva up 4-3.
For the second straight day, Hagerstown took an early lead against the Shorebirds. The Suns loaded the bases in the second inning against Shorebirds starter Matthew Hammonds and scored two against him. Phil Caulfield's RBI single got his team on the board and then Kyle Marinconz came in to score when Rafael Bautista bounced into a fielder's choice.
Hammonds exited after only three innings and it became a bullpen day for Delmarva. The Suns got an additional run against Juan Echevarria in the fourth when Bautista came in to score on a two-out error. Three other relievers combined to get the Shorebirds to the ninth, but it was Jhon Peluffo (L, 1-2) who coughed up the go-ahead run in that frame.
Hagerstown returns home for three games against the Lexington Legends July 9-11. The three games are riddled with promotions, including Antietam Date Night, Bark in the Park Night and Thirsty Thursday. For tickets or more information, visit hagerstownsuns.com or call 301-791-6266.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.