Hagerstown, MD - Sam Held and Omar Meregildo had career days in the Hagerstown Suns 8-3 victory over the Lexington Legends on Wednesday night at Historic Municipal Stadium. The Suns are 20-28 in the second half and 47-69 overall. Hagerstown and Lexington will play game two of the three-game series on Thursday with a 7:05 PM first pitch.
Lexington scored first in the opening inning against Hagerstown starter Held. Kyle Isbel singled to right and reached second on an error. Cristian Perez bunted Isbel to third and Nick Pratto singled to left, plating Isbel to give the Legends a 1-0 advantage.
The Suns answered in the bottom of the first with a run of their own against Legends starter Charlie Neuweiler. Armond Upshaw singled to center, advanced to second on a balk, and reached third on a wild pitch. Cole Freeman singled to left, plating Upshaw to tie the game at 1-1.
Hagerstown scored five runs in the second inning against Neuweiler and Legends reliever Robert Garcia. Alex Flores singled to right and Nick Choruby walked to put runners on first and second with one out. Upshaw singled to right, plating Flores to make it a 2-1 Suns lead. Freeman singled to left, scoring Choruby to extend the Hagerstown lead to 3-1. Jake Scudder was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Anderson Franco reached on an error to score Upshaw and make it a 4-1 game. Garcia entered from the bullpen with the bases loaded and one out. Omar Meregildo doubled down the right-field line, plating Freeman and Scudder to increase the Suns lead to 6-1.
The Legends scored two runs in the third inning against Held. Isbel singled to right and reached second on a groundout. With one out, Pratto belted a two-run home run to right-center field, cutting the Hagerstown lead 6-3. After the homer, Held settled down and retired the final 11 batters he faced. Jared Johnson retired the first six hitters he saw, for a total run of 17-straight retired by Suns pitchers.
The Suns scored a run in the fifth inning against Legends reliever Daniel Duarte in his first inning of work. Flores led off with a 400-foot home run over the right field wall and into the parking lot to make it a 7-3 Suns lead.
Hagerstown added one run in the eighth inning against Lexington reliever Garrett Suchey. Freeman walked and Franco singled to center to put runners at the corners with one out. Meregildo hit a sacrifice fly to center, plating Freeman to extend the Suns lead to 8-3. That was the last run to score in the game as the Legends put runners on the corners in the ninth, but Johnson shut the door for the 8-3 Hagerstown win.
Held (4-6) pitched a career-high six innings and won while allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits and struck out five in his first career quality start. Johnson pitched three scoreless innings, giving up one hit with one strike out and earning his first save of the season.
Notes: Held earned his first quality start of the season… His six innings pitched and six strikeouts are career-highs… Held struck out his 100th career hitter with his first strikeout of the game… It's the 34th quality start by Suns pitching this season… Upshaw recorded his 13th multi-hit game of the season… Freeman logged his 19th mulit-hit game of 2018… Meregildo's three-RBI game ties a career-high and season-high… He also earned his 10th multi-hit game of the year… Flores and Franco recorded their ninth multi-hit games of the season… Hagerstown and Lexington will play the second game of the three-game series on Thursday night with a 7:05 first pitch… The Suns will send LHP Seth Romero (0-1, 4.24 ERA) on the mound against Legends LHP JC Cloney (1-0, 2.70 ERA)… It's the last Thirsty Thursday of the season at the Muni… Fans can take advantage of $2 beer specials… 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.