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Hickory slams Suns

July 10, 2013|By BOB PARASILITI | bobp@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — The Hagerstown Suns have relied on defense to win many games this season.

But that only works when the ball stays in the park.

The Hickory Crawdads seem to have a habit of keeping it out of the Suns’ reach.

The Crawdads hit four home runs — resulting in their first eight runs — and rode the advantage to an 11-7 victory over Hagerstown on Wednesday at Municipal Stadium.

Hickory hit all the homers off Suns starter Ian Dickson (0-1) to take an 8-1 lead en route to its second win in the crucial three-game series.

Ryan Rua had three hits — including two blasts over the wall in center field — and drove in six runs to lead the Crawdads (52-37, 13-6). Rua leads the SAL with 28 homers and has three in the first two games of the series.

The win extended Hickory’s lead in the SAL Northen Division’s second-half race to 1 1/2 over the Suns (50-37, 12-8).

Hickory used strong-armed tactics against Dickson early with three runs off two homers in the second inning.

Nomar Mazara started it with a one-out solo home run to right to put the Crawdads on the scoreboard. After Jordan Akins reached when shortstop Stephen Perez dropped a popup in short left field, David Lyons hit a drive over the fence in right for the 3-0 lead.

The Suns got a run back in the bottom of the second against Hickory starter Andrew Faulkner (3-2), but it could have been more. Pedro Severino and Wes Schill hit one-out singles to set up Tony Renda’s two-out RBI single to center. After Severino scored, Renda was thrown out at second, trying to advance a throw to third base to end the inning.

The Crawdads upped their lead in the third inning — again on the strength of a home run — as Ronald Guzman hit a two-out double to left before trotting home on Rua’s first homer of the night for a 5-1 lead. Rua added his three-run shot with two outs in the fifth for the 8-1 lead to end Dickson’s night.

Dickson went 4 2/3 innings, giving up eight hits and striking out five.

The Suns showed some life by sending 10 hitters to the plate in a five-run fifth to cut the deficit to 8-6.

Narcisa Mesa led off with a single to center, took second when Renda walked and moved to third when Estarlin Martinez grounded to short to force Renda.

Brandon Miller broke the seal with a two-run double to left that Akins lost in the lights. Miller ran aggressively to score from second on Will Piwnica-Worms’ single that glanced off Faulkner and went to short. After Stephen Perez reached when Guzman failed to catch a throw to first from short, Craig Manuel and Wes Schill chipped in with RBI singles to end Faulkner’s outing and bring the Suns to within two.

Hickory struck back in the sixth for a run to make it 9-6, then added two more runs off Christian Meza on a grounder by Guzman and a Rua single after loading the bases to take a 11-6 lead.

The Suns picked up a run in the ninth against Hickory reliever Ryan Bores on a sacrifice fly by Manuel.

Sam Stafford got the win in relief for the Crawdads.

Schill had three of the Suns’ 12 hits, while Mesa and Renda added two each.

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