Suns cut Power in opener

April 06, 2012|By BOB PARASILITI |
  • Hagerstown's Matthew Skole, right, is safe at second base as West Virginia's Jodaneli Carvajal tries to make a play during a pickoff attempt in the second inning Thursday night.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — Brian Goodwin was the big shot for the Hagerstown Suns on Thursday, but J.P. Ramirez ended up being the silencer.

It took that kind of firepower to give the Suns everything they needed to pull out an 11-9 victory over West Virginia in the season opener before a modest crowd of 2,078 at Municipal Stadium.

Hagerstown came from behind after squandering a 6-1 lead, needing Goodwin’s game-tying two-run home run in the sixth before Ramirez launched a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the two-run eighth to secure the victory.

Goodwin, one of two 2011 first-round picks playing in Hagerstown this year, finished with two hits and four RBIs in his professional baseball debut. Meanwhile, Ramirez came through like a veteran with his fly to open his second tour in Hagerstown after playing here in 2010.

It was a rollercoaster ride for the Suns, who scored six runs in the second before allowing West Virginia to score eight unanswered runs over the next four innings to force the comeback.

Hagerstown’s two-run eighth made a winner out of Suns reliever Christian Meza (1-0), who pitched two scoreless innings, with the help of a inning-ending, bases-loaded double play in the seventh.

Meza was the third of four Suns pitchers. Starter Wirken Estevez, who lasted four innings while allowing six runs on nine hits without allowing a walk and striking out three. Alex Kreis pitched the ninth to earn the save.

The Suns tied the game in the bottom of the sixth, starting with Caleb Ramsey’s drive off reliever Robert Kilcrease to the wall in dead center that bounced off the glove of Greg Polanco for a triple. Bryce Ortega followed by bouncing a ball to the right side that first baseman Jose Osuna ranged over to play but dropped for a run-scoring infield single.

The Power were faced with a runner on and a run in and none out on two balls that their fielders gloved but couldn’t contain. It came back to haunt them as Goodwin launched a shot over the right-field fence for a game-tying two-run homer.

“I was just trying to hit the ball hard up the middle,” Goodwin said. “I wasn’t looking for anything in particular.”

Hagerstown won the game in the eight against West Virginia reliever Rinku Singh, who issued a leadoff walk to Ortega, the No. 9 hitter. Ortega took second when Osuna dropped Singh’s pickoff throw and moved to third on Goodwin’s fly to center.

The Power elected to intentionally walk Jason Martinson to allow the left-handed Singh face left-handed hitting Ramirez with runners on first and third. Ramirez sent a fly to the wall right center to score Ortega with the tiebreaking run. Matt Skole provided the insurance run with a single to right ceter to score Martinson.

West Virginia took a 1-0 lead in the second on Dan Gamache’s sacrifice fly off Estevez.

Hagerstown immediately bounced back by sending 10 batters to the plate in the second to jump out to a 6-1 lead.

The Suns roughed up West Virginia starter Nick Kingham, starting with Brett Newsome’s one-out double into the right-field corner. Newsome held second on Justin Miller’s bloop single to left before Caleb Ramsey drew a walk to load the bases.

Goodwin stepped in and laced a two-strike pitch off the glove of Power shortstop Alen Hanson for a two-run single to right. Left fielder Willy Garcia scooped up the ball and fired it home in an attempt to cut down Miller at the plate. The ball bounced off catcher Elias Diaz for an error that allowed Ramsey to score and move Goodwin to third for a 3-1 lead.

Martinson doubled to score Goodwin and end the night for Kingham, who was lifted for Justin Ennis.

Ennis made his debut by hitting Ramirez with a pitch before Skole stroked a two-run double down the right-field line for the 6-1 lead.

West Virginia battled back by scoring runs two runs in the third, one in the fourth, three in the fifth and one in the sixth to take the 9-6 lead.

Skole finished with two hits and three RBIs for the Suns. West Virginia’s Alen Hanson had three hits — a triple short of the cycle — and two RBIs.

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