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Suns drop home opener

April 11, 2013|By BOB PARASILITI | bobp@herald-mail.com
  • Hagerstown starter Ivan Pineyro delivers a pitch during the Suns' home opener Thursday at Municipal Stadium. Pineyro went five innings, giving up four earned runs while striking out seven.
By Colleen McGrath/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — The Hagerstown Suns weren’t able to bust out the champagne on Thursday. Manager Tripp Keister was perfectly satisfied with milk.

That’s because he was fortified by the Suns’ play, even though they were skimmed in the end.

Christian Walker hit a two-run home run to key a three-run 10th inning to lift Delmarva to a 7-4 victory and ruin the Suns’ home opener before 2,650 fans on a Thirsty Thursday at Municipal Stadium.

“We’re absolutely not going to be crying in our milk tonight,” Keister said. “I like that we had the tying run at the plate to end the game. We had a close game and that’s fine. We are still learning a lot of stuff.”

It was a typical game for the Suns (4-4), who played another workmanlike, fundamentally sound game, even though it ended their three-game winning streak.

Hagerstown led early, fell behind and charged in the late innings to force extra innings. The outcome just put the Suns out to pasture.

“This is our second series with Delmarva and every game we have played with them has been close,” the first-year manager said. “I have no problem with that.”

The Suns hustled into score the tying run in the eighth and gave reliever Brian Dupra a chance to earn a decision after four outstanding innings, allowing two hits and striking out four.

The Shorebirds (5-3) broke through against Robert Benincasa (0-1) in the 10th. Torsten Boss hit a one-out single to right, setting up Walker’s blast over the wall in left center. Nik Balog followed with a double and scored on Creede Simpson’s ground-rule double to left for the three-run lead.

The Suns tried to come back in the bottom of the inning against Matt Price (1-0). Mike McQuillian walked and Estarlin Martinez reached on a fielding error by Adrian Marin. Brandon Miller hit a drive to the deepest part of left center, which turned into the game-ending flyout.

“I really liked the way we played,” Keister said. “We got down early and came back. Dupra pitched great and kept us in the game and we were aggressive on the bases to get our run in the eighth.”

The Suns tied the game in the eighth by forcing the issue.

Martinez hit a one-out single off Delmarva reliever Miguel Chalas and moved to second on a wild pitch. With two outs, Martinez caught the Shorebirds napping and broke for third base. Chalas threw wildly to third, allowing the run to score.

The Suns took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second. Miller led off with a double to the wall in center before advancing on a pair of groundballs to the right side of the infield. Carlos Lopez grounded to second to move Miller to third before J.R. Higley grounded to first to give Hagerstown the lead.

Delmarva came back in the top of the third when Wynston Sawyer led off with a triple in the right-field corner off Hagerstown starter Ivan Pineyro and scored on Marin’s sacrifice fly to center to tie the game.

Simpson, who came in as a defensive replacement in right in the third inning, led off with a line-drive home run to left to start Delmarva’s three-run fifth inning. Sawyer followed with a single and took second when Vega drew a one-out walk.

Boss capped the rally with a two-run triple into the right-field corner with two outs to give the Shorebirds a 4-1 lead.

The Suns got back into the game in the bottom of the fifth as Craig Manuel and Wes Schill led off with singles. Tony Renda cashed in with one out and chased Blackmar from the game with a two-run double to center.

Wynston Sawyer had three hits for Delmarva, while Boss and Simpson had two each as the Shorebirds won for the fourth time in five games against the Suns.

Schill had two of the Suns’ seven hits.

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