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Big hits carry Suns to victory over Intimidators

August 02, 2013

HAGERSTOWN — The Hagerstown Suns proved on Friday night that good things come in twos.

Estarlin Martinez hit a two-run home run and Wander Ramos, Pedro Severino and Shawn Pleffner added two-run doubles as the Suns defeated the Kannapolis Intimidators 11-7 in a back-and-forth South Atlantic League contest in front of 965 fans at Municipal Stadium.

The Suns (62-45, 24-16) remained 1 1/2 games behind the West Virginia Power — a 10-1 winner over Lakewood — in the race for the Northern Division’s second-half title. Hagerstown won the first-half title and is assured a playoff berth.

Jacob May’s home run off Suns starter Ian Dickson leading off the fourth inning gave Kannapolis a 1-0 lead.

Brent Tanner led off the fifth with a home run to give the Intimidators a 2-0 lead. With two outs, Nick Basto reached on third baseman Mike McQuillan’s fielding error, and singles by Cleuluis Rondon and May brought Basto around for a 3-0 lead.

Kannapolis starter Adam Lopez kept the Suns hitless through four innings, but Hagerstown tied the game at 3 in the bottom of the fifth. Will Piwnica-Worms hit a one-out single and Estarlin Martinez followed with a home run to center. With two outs, Stephen Perez and Narciso Mesa hit singles and left fielder Kale Kiser’s throwing error allowed Perez to score.

The Intimidators regained the lead with a three-run sixth. Back-to-back doubles by Tim Anderson and Jason Coats gave Kannapolis a 4-3 lead and ended Dickson’s night. Mike Marjama reached safely on a fielder’s choice back to reliever Christian Meza (3-0), and a balk put runners on second and third with no outs. Tanner singled to make it 5-3, and another run scored when Kiser grounded into a double play to make it 6-3.

The Suns responded with five runs in the bottom of the sixth to take an 8-6 lead against Intimidators reliever Jeffrey Wendelken (2-1), who took the loss. Tony Renda and Shawn Pleffner led off with singles and Wander Ramos followed with a two-run double to center.

After McQuillan’s sacrifice bunt, Piwnica-Worms hit an RBI infield single to second to tie the game, then took second on the play on Rondon’s throwing error. Martinez walked and Pedro Severino followed with a two-run double to center.

After Meza struck out the side in the top of the seventh, Hagerstown scored three runs in the bottom half for an 11-6 lead. Mesa and Renda led off with singles and Pleffner drilled a two-run double to left. Pleffner stole second and scored on McQuillan’s RBI single to left.

Kannapolis cut the lead to 11-7 in the eighth off Suns reliever Cody Davis. Anderson singled, took second on a flyout and scored when Tanner reached on a fielding error by Pleffner at first.

Dickson allowed five runs on seven hits and struck out four in a five-inning no-decision for the Suns. Meza got the win, striking out four in two innings of relief. Bryan Harper worked a perfect ninth.

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