HAGERSTOWN — Matt Skole is the last person a Hagerstown Suns opponent wants to see at the plate.
Unfortunately fo Lexington on Friday, he was the guy they saw.
Skole connected on the first pitch he saw from Legends reliever Murilo Gouvea for a two-out, walk-off grand slam to lift the Suns to a dramatic 6-3 victory at Municipal Stadium.
Skole finished with two hits and five RBIs, moving his total to 87. The homer was his his South Atlantic League leading 25th, including two grand slams.
The Suns (66-45, 24-18) won their third straight game to maintain first place in the Northern Division’s second-half standings. It was Hagerstown’s ninth walk-off win of the season.
Hagerstown trailed most of the game until loading the bases with none out in the ninth.
Cole Leonida started the rally by striking out but reached first on Gouvea’s wild pitch. He took second on Brett Newsome’s pinch-hit single and moved to third on Billy Burns’ bunt single down the third-base line.
After recording two outs, Skole stepped in and drove Gouvea’s first offering over the wall in right-center field to win the game.
Lexington took a 1-0 lead in the first off Hagerstown starter Blake Schwartz.
Nolan Fontana drew a one-out walk and took second on Zach Johnson’s single before scoring on Matt Duffy’s RBI double to left. The Suns stopped the Legends from extending the lead when Johnson was thown out at the plate by a relay throw from shortstop Bryce Ortega.
The Suns countered by taking the lead in the bottom of the inning with two runs off Lexington starter Jonas Dufek.
Ortega hit a one-out double and Caleb Ramsey drew a walk before Skole hit a ground-rule double to right to tie the score and drive in his 83rd run of the season.
Justin Miller followed with a sacrifice fly to center to give the Suns a 2-1 lead.
Lexington grabbed the lead right back in the second as the first five men to face Schwartz reached base.
Jose Fernandez, Justin Gominsky and Jordan Scott led off with singles to load the bases. Cristian Moronta drew a walk to bring home home the tying run before Delino DeShields Jr. singled to right to give the Legends a 3-2 lead.
Colin Bates (7-3) took the win by pitching a hitless ninth inning. Schwartz allowed three runs on six hits while striking out six in five innings work.