Suns' rally turns Intimidators passive

August 22, 2012

HAGERSTOWN — The Hagerstown Suns called it an early night on Wednesday.

Instead of rallying to win in the ninth, they decided to take care of business an inning earlier.

Cutter Dykstra stroked a two-run double in the eighth inning to break a 3-3 tie and lift Hagerstown to a 5-4 victory over Kannapolis.

The Suns wasted no time in getting to Intimidators reliever Daniel Webb to take the win and maintain the lead in the South Atlantic League playoff chase.

Hagerstown (76-51, 34-24) maintained its 1 1/2-game advantage over West Virginia in the Northern Division’s second-half standings with 11 games remaining in the season.

Billy Burns ignited the rally when he led off by beating out a ground ball to second for a single. Khayyan Norfork attempted a sacrifice bunt, but Webb threw wide to first to allow both runners to reach safely.

Dykstra followed with a line double to left, which allowed Norfork to score from first.

The run was crucial as pinch hitter Bill Rice collected a two-out RBI single off reliever Colin Bates in the ninth to cut the deficit to one run. Adam Heisler struck out to end the game.

With the victory, the Suns surpassed their 2011 win total.

Big hits were the order of the day for both teams.

Kannapolis jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth against Suns starter Wirkin Estevez.

Courtney Hawkins led off with a triple to center and Joey DeMichele walked before Mark Haddow put the Intimidators on the board with a sacrifice fly.

After DeMichele was thrown out trying to steal, Chris Curley hit his 11th home run with a blast over the wall in center field. Curley homered each day in the three-game series.

The Suns grabbed the lead right back in the bottom of the fourth against Kannapolis starter Euclides Leyer.

 Dysktra hit a one-out single to center, Adrian Nieto walked and Justin Miller was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Caleb Ramsey unloaded a bases-clearing triple to right — his third three-base hit in two games — to give the Suns a 3-2 lead.

Leighton Pangilinan tied the game with a solo home run to center — his eighth — with one out in the fifth.

Bates (8-3) got the win with two innings of relief, allowing the one unearned run on one hit with two walks and a strikeout. Estevez pitched five innings, allowing three runs on five hits with two walks and three strikeouts.

Webb (1-8) replaced Leyer in the eighth and allowed the two runs on two hits and a walk with two strikeouts

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