Lexington, KY - Anderson Franco homered and drove in four RBIs as the Hagerstown Suns defeated the Lexington Legends 10-6 on Sunday afternoon in the series finale at Whitaker Bank Ballpark. The Suns improve to 24-33 in the second half with an overall record of 51-74 and will begin a four-game series with the West Virginia Power on Monday with a 7:05 PM first pitch.
Hagerstown jumped on the board in the first inning against Legends starter Charlie Neuweiler. Armond Upshaw doubled on a fly ball to left, and with two outs Anderson Franco swatted his third homer of the season to make it a 2-0 game. Franco's blast traveled 327 feet over the left field wall to give the Suns their first lead of the day.
In the second, the Suns extended their lead off the bat of Paul Panaccione with Neuweiler still on the mound. With two outs, Panaccione homered for the first time this season to make it a 3-0 game. The long ball traveled 346 feet to left.
The Suns improved on their lead in the third once again against Neuweiler and the Legends. Cole Freeman singled to left with one out and went to third when Jake Scudder singled to right. Franco lofted a sacrifice fly to left, scoring Freeman to give the Suns a 4-0 lead.
Lexington got to Tomas Alastre in the third inning, cutting Hagerstown's lead to one. With two outs, Rickey Aracena doubled to right and Brewer Hicklen walked. In a full count, MJ Melendez blasted a 397-foot homer to right field to make it a 4-3 game. Nick Pratto followed up with a triple to right-center, but Alastre struck out Manny Olloque to preserve the one-run lead.
The Suns plated four more in the fifth to chase Neuweiler from the game, continuing the scoring against Legends reliever Collin Snider. Nick Choruby walked and went to third when Panaccione singled to center. With one out, Upshaw walked to load the bases and Snider replaced Neuweiler on the mound. Freeman singled to right, scoring Choruby while keeping the bases loaded and Franco walked with two outs to force home Panaccione to make it a 6-3 game. Omar Meregildo reached on an error with two strikes, plating both Upshaw and Freeman to extend the Suns lead to 8-3.
Lexington scored two in the bottom of the fourth to cut the Suns lead to 8-5 but Hagerstown added runs in the sixth and eighth to take a 10-5 lead. Lexington loaded the bases in the ninth, scoring a run when Olloque lifted a sacrifice fly to left, but Suns reliever David Smith worked out of the jam. Carlos Diaz grounded out to short, ending the game with the Suns taking a 10-6 victory.
Alastre threw three innings while allowing five runs (three earned) on five hits with a walk and four strikeouts in a no decision. Jhonatan German (2-1) threw three scoreless innings, allowing a hit and a walk with seven strikeouts. Jared Johnson threw two scoreless, allowing two this with a walk and two strikeouts. Smith pitched the ninth, holding the Legends to a run on three hits with a strikeout.
Notes: Hagerstown won the season series 8-6 and split the four-game set with the Legends… Alastre tied his shortest start of the season with three innings pitched… Upshaw extended his hit streak to 10 games… It's the second longest streak by a Suns batter this season behind Freeman's 11-game streak in May… Scudder's hit streak is at eight-games… Freeman had his 25th multi hit game of the season… It's the third time he's tied his career-high of three hits… Franco had his 14th multi-hit game of the season… He also had his sixth multi-RBI game of the year… He tied his season-high with four RBIs… The last time a Suns batter tallied four or more RBIs in a game was on June 16 when Nick Banks had five against the Columbia Fireflies in a 12-6 win… Panaccione had his fifth multi-hit game of the year… He also homered for the first time this season… German set a new career-high with seven strikeouts… It surpasses his previous high of six, set on August 29, 2017 against the GCL Astros… The last time Hagerstown scored 10 runs in a game was on August 4 against the Hickory Crawdads in a 10-5 victory… The Suns head to West Virginia on Monday to begin a four-game series with the Power to wrap up the 2018 road schedule with a 7:05 PM first pitch… The Suns will send RHP Sam Held (5-6, 3.54 ERA) to the mound against Power LHP Ike Schlabach (6-4, 3.87 ERA)… The broadcast can be heard, starting with the pregame show at 6:55 PM on www.hagerstownsuns.com by going to multimedia tab and clicking on "Listen Live"... The broadcast is also available on the Hagerstown Suns Radio Network in the Tune-In Radio and MiLB First Pitch apps.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.