Suns Walk Off Grasshoppers on Soto's Heroics

Braymer dominates out of the bullpen in 5-4 victory

(John Slick)

By Shawn Murnin / Hagerstown Suns | April 14, 2018 10:21 PM

Hagerstown, MD - Juan Soto drove in the winning run with a two-out single in the ninth inning while Ben Braymer threw five innings of shutout relief in the Hagerstown Suns 5-4 walk-off victory on Saturday night against the Greensboro Grasshoppers. The Suns improve to 3-7 overall and will play the series finale on Sunday afternoon at Hagerstown Municipal Stadium with a 2:05 PM first pitch.

The Suns scored first against Greensboro starter Taylor Braley in the second inning. Anderson Franco lef off with a walk and went to second when Kameron Esthay was hit by a pitch. Aldrem Corredor laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Franco and Esthay up a base. Branden Boggetto singled to center field, plating Franco, but Esthay was thrown out at the plate on the relay for the second out of the inning. Alex Flores grounded out to first for the final out with the Suns out to a 1-0 lead.


Greensboro took the lead in the third inning by batting around the order against Suns starter Jackson Stoeckinger. With one out, Michael Hernandez singled and Jhonny Santos doubled to right to put a pair of runners on for the Grasshoppers. Sam Castro doubled to center, driving both runners in and giving Greensboro a 3-1 lead. Micah Brown doubled to drive in Castro and make it a 3-1 Greensboro advantage and Eric Gutierrez drove Brown in with a single to left, making it a 4-1 game.


Braymer entered in the fifth inning and struck out the first two batters he faced, getting Gutierrez to fly out to end the inning.


Alex Flores brought Hagerstown within a run in the bottom of the fifth with Braley still on the bump. Boggetto led off with a single to center field for his second hit of the ballgame and in the next at-bat Flores roped a long home run over the right field wall. The homer was Flores' second of the series and season, cutting the deficit to one with a 4-3 score.


Braymer continued to shut down the Greensboro offense, adding another strikeout in the sixth as part of a 1-2-3 inning. Hernandez singled to start the sixth, but the lefty sat down the next four hitters he faced and got a double-play to end the eighth inning. In the ninth, he retired the Grasshoppers in order to set up some ninth-inning drama with the Suns still trailing by a run.


Colton Hock took the mound in the ninth inning for the Grasshoppers. Boggetto reached on an error to start the frame and Flores dropped down a sacrifice bunt to move him to second with Flores going to first when the bunt was misplayed by Hernandez, the Greensboro catcher. Armond Upshaw sacrificed to move both runners up a base, and Cole Freeman lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to score Boggetto and tie the game. Manny Rodriguez entered from the bullpen and walked Yasel Antuna but on the pitch that walked him, Hernandez was also charged with a passed ball that allowed Flores to advance to third. With two outs and two strikes, Soto drove a two-strike pitch deep to the outfield that landed behind left-fielder Zach Sullivan to plate Flores and give the Suns a walk-off win.


Stoeckinger allowed four runs on seven hits with four strikeouts in a no decision. Braymer (2-0) earned his second win of the season, holding Greensboro to two hits with six strikeouts over five innings of relief work.


Notes: The Suns earned their first walk-off win of the season… They are 1-1 in one-run ballgames… It's their first home win of the season… It's the first time they won a game while being out-hit by their opponent… Soto extended his hit-streak to five games with the walk-off knock… Flores has a three-game hit streak… Antuna had his third multi-hit game of the season… Boggetto had his first… Flores has RBIs in three-straight games… Braymer hasn't allowed a run in 11.2 innings of work this season… The Suns will play the series finale against Greensboro on Sunday with a 2:05 PM first pitch… It's Sunday Funday… Kids Club members can play catch on the field before the game… All kids can run the bases after the game… Hagerstown will send LHP Alex Troop (1-0, 0.00 ERA) to the mound against Greensboro RHP Edward Cabrera (0-1, 1.80 ERA)… The broadcast can be heard, starting with the pregame show at 5:50 PM on 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.

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