MUNICIPAL STADIUM (Hagerstown, MD) - The Lexington Legends were able to avoid the sweep with a huge 15-3 victory over the Hagerstown Suns. The Legends remain in first place of the Southern Division, tied with the Greenville Drive.
The Legends began their scoring in the top of the first inning. MJ Melendez doubled to right field then Brewer Hicklen blasted a two-run home run to left centerfield and Lexington led 2-0.
Kyle Isbel smacked a solo homer to right field in the top of the third and the Legends extended their lead 3-0.
In the top of the fifth inning, Nick Pratto lined a single to centerfield then advanced to second base when Hicklen was hit by a pitch. Sebastian Rivero hit an RBI single to left field, bringing home Pratto. The Suns, however, committed a throwing error on the play allowing Hicklen to score and Rivero to reach third base. Jeison Guzman then singled home Rivero and Lexington led 6-0.
Hagerstown plated their first runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Kameron Esthay lead off with a single to right field then moved to second when Joey Harris was hit by a pitch. Juan Pascal then drew a walk to load the bases. Armond Upshaw hit an RBI single to left field and the Suns were on the board 6-1. Phil Caulfield brought home Harris when he popped up a sacrifice fly to left field. After the fifth, the Legends still led 6-2.
Lexington would then go on to score eight runs in the top of the sixth. Back-to-back singles by Marten Gasparini and Ricky Aracena put runners at first and second for the Legends. Pratto then smacked a bases clearing triple to right field. Hicklen then singled home Pratto and Lexington led 9-2. Rivero then joined Hicklen on the base path with a single to center field. With runners at first and second, Guzman hit an RBI single to center field, bringing home Hicklen and moving Rivero to second. Carlos Diaz then hit an RBI single of his own to right field, and there were two runners on base for Lexington. Gasparini then blasted a three-run homer to right centerfield and the Legends led 14-2.
In the bottom of the sixth, Omar Meregildo and Esthay reached on back-to-back singles. Pascal then grounded out to Legends first baseman, Pratto, allowing Meregildo to score. Lexington still led, 14-3.
The Legends scored their final run of the game in the top of the seventh inning. Isbel led off with a single to center field then advanced to third on a double by Melendez. Pratto then sent a sacrifice fly to centerfield and Isbel scored. Lexington was then able to hold on to their 15-3 lead.
Every starter for the Legends was able to record a hit and score a run facing the Suns. Both Pratto and Hicklen drove in three runs. Four out of the nine starters scored two runs and Hicklen scored three.
Jackson Kowar was awarded the victory, pitching 4.0 shutout innings allowing three hits while striking out five. He did not walk a batter. Tim Cate was given the loss, tossing 5.0 innings allowing six runs (five earned) on seven hits while walking one and striking out five.
The Legends now travel to Lakewood, New Jersey to face the BlueClaws in a four-game series before returning to Lexington, August 23. Both pitchers are TBD.
The Legends, a Class A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals and member of the South Atlantic League, play all home games at Whitaker Bank Ballpark in Lexington, Kentucky. For ticket information, call (859) 422-7867 or visit LexingtonLegends.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.