Augusta, GA-On a scorching hot Tuesday night at Lake Olmstead Stadium, the Hagerstown Suns (52-37, 12-7) held their lead through 6 ½ innings before giving up three runs in the after stretch time to catapult the Augusta Greenjackets (41-48, 10-9) to a 5-3 win in the series opener of their four game road series.
Suns LHP Robbie Ray did not allow a run in his first four innings of work, despite walking three, but would not factor into the decision as the Suns bullpen allowed three runs late after Ray was pulled from the game after 4.2 inning pitched.
The Suns struck first with one run in the 1st frame as 2B Adrian Sanchez lofted a one-out double over RF Ryan Lollis leading to an RBI single by DH Kevin Keyes on a line drive to center field. SS Jason Martinson, who went 3-for-4 in the contest, doubled to the right field wall but was left stranded.
Hagerstown supplemented their attack with two runs in the 5th inning as 1B Russell Moldenhauer laced an opposite field two-RBI down the left field line to summon home SS Blake Kelso, who reached on an infield single, and Sanchez, who blooped a single to left center field to get on base. The Suns led 3-0 headed to the bottom of the 5th frame.
Augusta got on the board with two runs in the last of the 5th as CF Chris Lofton was hit by a Ray offering. Lofton stole second base and third base. With two outs, Lollis lazered a single over Martinson at shortstop to score Lofton which knocked Ray out of the game. RHP Sam Brown (2-3), the losing pitcher of record, would come into the game and walk 1B Josh Mazzola and on the same toss, a wild pitch brought in Lollis to get the Greenjackets within one run.
Greenjackets RHP Drew Bowlin (1-0), the winning pitcher, pitched the 6th and 7th inning without allowing a run, scattering three hits, and walking one.
In the bottom of the 7th inning, Brown surrendered a walk to 3B Adam Duvall and gave up a base hit through the right side to Lollis. LHP Ryan Demmin entered and gave up back-to-back RBI doubles to LF Rafael Rodriguez and C Jeff Arnold. Rodriguez blasted a two-run double into the left center field gap and Arnold pierced a two-base knock to plate Rodriguez to the left field corner. Augusta led 5-3 after seven frames and would not surrender the lead.
The son of National League All-Star skipper from the San Francisco Giants, Bruce Bochy, RHP Brett Bochy struck out the side in the 8th inning.
Greenjackets closer, RHP Stephen Harrold, pitched a one-two-three 9th stanza to ensure the victory for Augusta and earn his 15th save of the season.
Hagerstown will continue the four game road series tomorrow. In game two, the Suns will be hosted by the Augusta Greenjackets for a 7:05pm first pitch. Wall-to-wall radio broadcast coverage will begin with a 6:50pm Break Away 2 Sports Lounge Pre-game Show on WJEJ AM 1240. The pitching matchup will bring RHP A.J. Cole (2-4, 2.87) to the mound to clash with LHP Mike Kickham (1-5, 4.95).
The Hagerstown Suns play at Municipal Stadium in Hagerstown, MD and are a Class "A" affiliate of the Washington Nationals. Season ticket packages, group outings, and corporate sponsorships are available by calling the Suns at 301-791-6266. Visit the Suns on the web at www.hagerstownsuns.com. The Suns are owned by Hagerstown Baseball, LLC.
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