Suns let one get away

August 01, 2011

HICKORY, N.C. — Christian Villanueva hit a sacrifice fly to center with none out in the 10th inning on Monday to lead Hickory to a seemingly unlikely 14-13 win over the Hagerstown Suns in the South Atlantic League.

Hagerstown led 13-10 heading into the bottom of the ninth until reliever Dean Weaver was tagged with a game-tying, three-run home run by Alejandro Selen with one out to send the game into extra innings.

The Crawdads (23-14 second half) put the game away against Hagerstown’s Sam Brown (2-5) in the 10th. Jurickson Profar led off with a single and Odubel Herrera was hit by a pitch before both runners advanced on a wild pitch.

With runners at second and third and none out, Suns manager Brian Daubach elected to bring in right fielder Michael Taylor as a fifth infielder to try and prevent the winning run. Villanueva ruined the strategy by lofting a drive to deep center to end the game.

Hickory’s comeback win puts the Crawdads 4 1/2 games ahead of fourth-place Hagerstown in the Northern Division. It also tarnished a big night for Taylor, who homered twice and drove in six runs.

The Suns (18-18 second half) struck for two runs against Crawdads starter Nicholas Tepesch in the first inning. Blake Kelso led off with a single and stole second before scoring on Curran’s single. Curran stole third and scored on Kevin Keyes’ one-out single.

The Crawdads (23-14 second half) got a run back in the bottom of the first on singles by Villanueva and Andrew Clark against Hagerstown starter Matthew Grace.

The Suns took a 3-1 lead in the third when Adrian Sanchez hit a one-out single, stole second, took third on Keyes’ single and scored on Jason Martinson’s sacrifice fly.

Hagerstown increased its lead to 5-1 in the fourth on Taylor’s first of two home runs, a two-run shot. Wade Moore doubled to set it up.

Hickory rallied to tie the game with a four-run fifth, started when Grace made a fielding error on a ball hit by Braxton Lane leading off. Four straight singles by Profar, Herrera, Villanueva and Clark made it 5-4 and chased Grace. Reliever Gregory Holt gave up Joshua Richmond’s game-tying sacrifice fly.

Taylor had an answer in the top of the sixth, blasting his second dinger of the night — a three-run shot off Crawdads reliever Andrew Doyle, who walked the first two hitters of the inning before the home run. He walked another two before Colby Killian came in and got out of the jam, only allowing one more run on Martinson’s RBI fielder’s choice grounder.

Hickory roared back with five runs in the bottom half to take its first lead at 10-9. Two of the runs scored on errors and another came home on a walk Holt gave up with the bases loaded. Richmond hit a game-tying two-run single before the second error gave the Crawdads the lead.

Hagerstown reclaimed it with a three-run seventh. Adrian Nieto led off with a single, Moore hit an RBI triple, Taylor drove in his sixth run of the night with a sacrifice fly  and Sanchez added an RBI single.

The Suns made it 13-10 in the top of the ninth, as Moore singled, stole second, took third on Kelso’s single and scored on Curran’s fielder’s choice grounder.

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