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Shorebirds swoop early to top Suns

April 13, 2013

HAGERSTOWN — The Delmarva Shorebirds did something on Saturday they couldn’t manage on Friday.

They scored ... and did it early and often.

Nik Balog highlighted a four-run first inning as the Shorebirds took an early lead and then held on tightly for a 7-6 victory over the Hagerstown Suns.

It was a twist from Friday, when the Suns shut down the Shorebirds to the tune of 4-0.

But this time, Delmarva scored all seven of its runs in the first three innings and settled in behind Branden Kline (1-0) for its fifth win in seven meetings with the Suns.

Kline, a Thomas Johnson graduate who was the Baltimore Orioles’ second-round pick in the 2012 draft, allowed five runs on six hits, while striking out five and walking four to get the victory.

Christian Walker and Creede Simpson hit RBI singles off Suns starter Ronald Pena (0-1) in the first before Balog’s double.

Delmarva extended the lead to 5-0 in the second on Joel Hutter’s sacrifice fly.

The Suns got two runs back in the bottom of the inning on RBI singles by Craig Manuel and Khayyan Norfork to cut the deficit to three.

Gregory Lorenzo hit a two-run triple in the third to give the Shorebirds (6-4) a 7-2 lead.

The Suns (5-5) worked their way back with two runs in the fourth and single runs in the fifth and seventh to get within one.

Norfork hit an RBI double and rounded the bases on a throwing error for the two runs in the fourth.

The Suns moved to within 7-5 in the fifth when Wes Schill hit a two-out double and scored on J.R. Higley’s single to center.

Hagerstown manufactured its run in the seventh against Shorebirds’ reliever Williams Louico. Schill led off with a walk and stole second before taking third on Higley’s fly to right. He crossed the plate on Will Piwnica-Worms’ infield single.

Hagerstown threatened to tie the game in the eighth as Norfork hit a leadoff double against Shorebirds reliever Mychal Givens and moved to third with two outs on Mike McQuillian’s grounder, but was left stranded.

David Fischer pitched five innings of two-hit relief to keep the Suns in the game, while striking out seven. Will Hudgins pitched the ninth.

Givens, who converted from an outfielder to a pitcher in the offseason, notched his first save for Delmarva.

Balog led Delmarva with three if its 11 hits. Norfork had three hits for Hagerstown.

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