Intimidators can't scare away Suns

August 21, 2012

HAGERSTOWN — If the Hagerstown Suns make the playoffs, it won’t be by taking any shortcuts.

The easy way isn’t all that satisfying.

Once again, the Suns came back from behind at home and won in the final at-bat. This time Adrian Nieto crossed the plate on a throwing error in the 10th inning to notch a 7-6 victory over Kannapolis.

The Suns and Intimidators played to three lead changes and four ties. Hagerstown needed a run in the ninth to even get to the 10th.

With the victory, the Suns (75-51, 33-24) maintained at least a one-game lead in the South Atlantic League Northern Division’s second-half standings.

The Suns rallied against Kannapolis reliever Stew Brase as Adrian Nieto drew a one-out walk and took second on Justin Miller’s single.

Nieto headed to third on J.R. Higley’s hit to right and scored when Kannapolis right fielder Mark Haddow threw the ball away.

The run made a winner of Suns reliever Leonard Hollins, who worked the last two innings.

Hagerstown used another trademark comeback in the ninth to force extra innings.

Miller led off with a double to center and scored on Caleb Ramsey’s second triple to tie the game at 6.

Kannapolis jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the second against Hagerstown starter Blake Schwartz as Chris Curley led off with a drive to center.

The Suns tied the game in the bottom of the inning against Intimidators starter Matthew Lane. Higley reached base on a force out and took when Leighton Pangilinan failed to catch Lane’s pickoff throw.

Ramsey singled to score Higley with the tying run.

The Suns took the lead with a run in the fourth when Cutter Dykstra led off with his seventh homer of the season for the 2-1 lead.

Kannapolis came right back in the fifth to tie the game on Courtney Hawkins’ RBI single to left.

The Intimidators grabbed the lead in the sixth against Hagerstown reliever Greg Holt on Grant Buckner’s solo home run, before Martin Medina doubled and trotted home on Pangilinan’s two-run shot to left, all coming with two outs.

It was the Suns’ turn to comeback as they scored three runs in the seventh to tie the game at 5-5, highlighted by Ramsey’s first triple.

Ramsey led the Suns with three hits and three RBIs.

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