SALISBURY, Md. — If anything, the Hagerstown Suns make sure fans get their money’s worth.
They have a habit of waiting for everyone to get in their seats before they get going.
The Suns did it once again, scoring three runs in the ninth inning — capped by a two-run home run by Khayyan Norfork — on Friday to claim a 5-3 win over Delmarva.
Hagerstown (71-50, 29-23) broke a 3-3 tie, again in rather dramatic fashion.
Brett Newsome ripped a one-out double to left off Delmarva reliever Gene Escat and before being lifted for pinch runner Caleb Ramsey.
After J.R. Higley singled to move Ramsey to third, Escat uncorked a wild pitch to score the go-ahead run.
Norfork followed with a two-run home run to left — his first as a member of the Suns — to give Hagerstown a 5-2 lead.
The Shorebirds were in position to match the Suns, but came up short against reliever Colin Bates.
Roderick Bernadina drove in a run and Delmarva had runners on second and third with two outs in the ninth. Bates struck out Sammie Start and got Mike Planeta to fly out to end the threat and earn his fourth save as reliever Greg Holt got the victory.
With the win, the Suns took a half-game lead over West Virginia in the South Atlantic League Northern Division’s second-half standings. The Power lost 4-3 in 13 innings at Kannapolis.
Delmarva took the early lead with a run in the third on back-to-back doubles by Planeta and Michael Ohlman against Hagerstown starter Blake Schwartz.
The Suns prevented the rally from becoming larger as Starr led off the inning with a single, but he was thrown out at the plate on Planeta’s double.
The Suns took the lead off with three straight hits in the fourth to take a 2-0 lead against Delmarva starter Eduardo Rodriguez.
Bryce Ortega started the rally with a single to right before scoring when Cutter Dykstra followed with a double to left. Justin Miller, who has moved in the cleanup position after the promotion to Matt Skole, singled to right to score Dykstra.
Schwartz held the lead through six innings before turning the ball over to Holt. But Delmarva tied the game with Bernadina’s one-out home run — his first of the season — to knot the game at 2-2.
Schwartz allowed the one run on nine hits while striking out seven in his start.