Suns starter Matt McClellan bid a not-so-fond farewell to the regular season by allowing six runs in the first three innings - which included three of his four walks coming in to score - as Delmarva jumped out to the early lead and hunkered down behind starter Sandy Garcia and two relievers to all but clinch the second-half title.
The Shorebirds (38-31, 80-60 overall) took a two-game lead over the Suns (36-33, 80-59) and eliminated Cape Fear from the second-half chase with two games remaining in the regular season. Hagerstown and Delmarva seem destined to open the first-round, best-of-3 game South Atlantic League playoffs against each other on Monday in Salisbury, Md.
"Matt just had a bad game," Pevey said while looking at the second and third innings on the scorecard. "All the walks, right there, that's the game."
The Suns had two chances to stay in the game early, but Lorenzo Bagley and Cesar Izturis were thrown out at the plate in the second and third innings.
"Getting Lorenzo thrown out at the plate in the second with no one out was my fault," Pevey said. "And if Izzy is going to go on an infield chopper, he has to go right away."
Delmarva took a 4-0 lead in the second on McClellan's generosity. After loading the bases, Chris Hughes walked to bring home one run before Darnell McDonald cleared the bases with a three-run single.
Frankie Figueroa's double and Tom McGee's single each drove in runs in the third.
The Suns got one run back in the third when Vernon Wells drew a bases-loaded walk after Izturis was gunned down at the plate.
Hagerstown cut the lead to 6-3 in the seventh on an RBI grounder by Greg Morrison and Bagley's single.
Delmarva picked up an insurance run off reliever Tim Huff in the eighth when Eddy Garabito singled with two outs and scored on Hughes' double.