Suns blow lead in ninth but win in 10

April 08, 2013

LAKEWOOD, N.J. — The Hagerstown Suns led a 6-3 lead in the ninth inning slip away, but recovered to score in the 10th for a 7-6 South Atlantic League victory over the Lakewood BlueClaws on Monday night.

Craig Manuel led off the 10th with a single to left and Stephen Perez walked. Tony Renda advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt. Lakewood reliever Zach Cooper intentionally walked Mike McQuillan to load the bases and got a strikeout for the second out, but walked Wes Schill to force in the winning run.

Robert Benincasa came in and worked a 1-2-3 bottom half for the save for Hagerstown (2-3).

Reliever Will Hudgins and the Suns failed to hold a 6-3 lead in the ninth. Hudgins hit Yan Olmo with a pitch and walked Chace Numata. Roman Quinn then bunted for an infield single, with Manuel — the Suns’ catcher — throwing the ball away, allowing Olmo to score. Numata scored on Angelo Mora’s groundout to second, before Brian Pointer’s double to right scored Quinn to tie the game at 6.

Both teams got on the board with a run in the third inning.

Manuel led off the game with a walk and went to third on Perez’s double to center before scoring on Renda’s single to left for the Suns.

Numata led off the bottom half with a double to right and scored on Mora’s one-out single to center for the BlueClaws (1-4).

Hagerstown scored the next four runs to open up a 5-1 lead.

In the fourth, Brandon Miller led off with a single and scored on J.R. Higley’s triple to right. Higley scored on Manuel’s fielder’s choice grounder to first for a 3-1 Suns lead.

In the fifth, Estarlin Martinez took advantage of the BlueClaws’ generosity, reaching on a two-base fielding error at first, taking third on a passed ball and scoring on a wild pitch to make it 4-1.

In the sixth, Perez led off with a single, stole second and took third and home on passed balls for a 5-1 lead.

Lakewood cut the lead to 5-2 in the bottom of the sixth. Pointer led off with a ground-rule double to left and came around on two groundouts.

Both teams scored one run in the eighth. Manuel led off the top half with a single, Perez walked and Manuel took third on a flyout to right, with Perez getting thrown out at second for the second out. McQuillan drove in Manuel with a single for a 6-2 Suns lead.

William Carmona hit a two-out triple to center and scored on Mitch Walding’s single to left for the BlueClaws, cutting the lead to 6-3.

Pedro Encaracion worked the first five innings for Hagerstown, allowing one run on three hits and two walks while striking out five. Brian Rauh allowed two runs on three hits and two walks in three innings of relief.

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