HAGERSTOWN, MD - The Delmarva Shorebirds took their third lead of the game in the seventh inning and held off a late Hagerstown Suns charge to win 6-4 on Wednesday night at Municipal Stadium.
Tied 3-3 in the top of the seventh, Milton Ramos and Stuart Levy threaded back-to-back leadoff singles through the right and left holes, respectively. Tanner Kirk then hit a sharp grounder down the third base line that Angelo La Bruna had trouble with. Ramos scored on the two-base error that put men on second and third. Cole Billingsley came up next and fisted a flare into shallow center to score Levy. Kirk came in on a Ryan McKenna double play grounder to put the Shorebirds (29-35, 58-74) up 6-3.
The Suns (31-32, 69-63) made one last gasp against Delmarva closer Jake Bray in the bottom of the ninth. Carter Kieboom and Aldrem Corredor worked back-to-back full count walks to lead off, and Tres Barrera rolled a single into left to load the bases. Bray settled in from there, though, fanning Nick Banks for the first out. Telmito Agustin then hit a grounder to second for a fielder's choice, chasing home Kieboom but trading the second out to get it. Bray then struck out Branden Boggetto swinging to lock it down.
Francisco Jimenez (7-2) blew a save opportunity but redeemed himself for a win in relief, allowing one run on two hits in three innings. Jake Barnett (1-1) took the loss after giving up three runs (one earned) on four hits in three innings. Bray's save was his 17th of the year.
The teams traded blows early, combining for five runs in the first inning and a half. In the top of the first, McKenna doubled with one out and went to third on a Jake Ring single. Two batters later, Gerrion Grim laced a single into center to score McKenna. Ring slid into third ahead of Blake Perkins' throw from center, but the throw sailed all the way to the side railing, allowing Ring to score. Grim got hung up between second and third after straying too far off the bag after putting the 'Birds up 2-0.
Hagerstown answered with two in the bottom of the first. Perkins led off with an infield single and later stole second base. Corredor drove him in two batters later with a single, and Barrera sliced a ground-rule double down the left field line to put men on second and third. Banks was hit by a pitch to load the bases, and Agustin hit a grounder to second to chase home Corredor and make it 2-2. Delmarva starter Lucas Humpal struck out Boggetto to limit the damage.
Frank Crinella banged a triple off the wall in center to lead off the second and scored two batters later on a Levy sac fly, putting Delmarva back in front 3-2.
In the bottom of the sixth, Agustin led off with a double and advanced to third on a Boggetto single. Oliver Ortiz walked to load the bases, and La Bruna hit into a double play to tie the game at 3-3.
Levy led the way at the plate for the Shorebirds, going 2-for-3 with a run and RBI. Billingsley finished 2-for-5 with an RBI.
Barrera and Boggetto each had two hits for the Suns, who left 12 men on base.
Humpal, the SAL innings leader, picked up a five-inning no-decision in his final start of the season. He allowed two runs on five hits while walking two and striking out five, pushing his innings total to 150.
Hagerstown's Ben Braymer posted a quality start in his own no-decision, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits in six innings.
The series win for the Shorebirds is their first since sweeping four in Rome on July 22-25. Delmarva is now 5-4 at Hagerstown this season after going 3-11 against the Suns at home.
The Shorebirds play their final road game of the season on Thursday as Travis Seabrooke (3-8, 4.61) toes the rubber against the Suns' Brigham Hill (0-1, 5.54). First pitch is 7:05 p.m., and pregame coverage on Fox Sports AM 960 and the MiLB First Pitch App begins at 6:50 with Will DeBoer on the call.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.