Lexington starter Anthony Bender and reliever Travis Eckert teamed up for a five-hit shutout as the Legends blanked the Hagerstown Suns 2-0 in the first game of a doubleheader Sunday afternoon at Whitaker Bank Ballpark.
The Suns came back to take the second game 13-2, breaking it open with an eight-run fifth inning capped by Nick Banks' grand slam. Hagerstown's Carlos Pena, who pitched for Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, Kentucky, allowed seven hits in a complete-game victory.
In the first game, the Legends took the lead with a run in the third inning. Marten Gasparini led off with a double and scored on a two-out single by Joe Dudek.
Gabriel Cancel's solo homer in the sixth inning provided the Legends' other run.
Bender, making his first start of the season after 14 relief appearances, allowed four hits in four innings. He walked one batter and struck out three. Eckert (4-6) pitched the last three innings and got the win. He gave up one hit.
South Atlantic League doubleheader games are a regulation seven innings in length.
The Legends claimed the lead in game two with a first-inning run, but Hagerstown came back with four runs in the second. Telmito Agustin led off with a double and moved to third on a single by Tyler Beckwith. A walk to Adderling Ruiz loaded the bases, and Agustin scored on a sacrifice fly by Angelo La Bruna. Blake Perkins' squeeze bunt scored Beckwith, and Ruiz came home on a base hit by Aldrem Corredor. Daniel Johnson's sacrifice fly brought Perkins home with the fourth run of the inning.
John Brontsema's leadoff homer in the bottom of the second cut the lead to 4-2, but Hagerstown added one run in the fourth before exploding for eight in the fifth.
Banks led off the fifth with a double and advanced to third on a double by Agustin. Beckwith struck out, but Ruiz singled, scoring Banks and sending Agustin to third. La Bruna followed with another single, scoring Agustin. Blake Perkins, walked, loading the bases, and Corredor's base hit brought Ruiz home. After Daniel Johnson struck out, Anderson Franco walked, forcing in a run to make the score 9-3. Banks then homered to right field, giving the Suns their final margin.
Pena (5-5), allowed seven hits. He struck out four batters and walked three.
Legends' starter Ofreidy Gomez (4-8) was the losing pitcher.
The series concludes Monday night. Game time is 7:05 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.