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Pleffner powers Suns past Shorebirds

August 13, 2013

SALISBURY, Md. — Hagerstown starter Ian Dickson pitched six solid innings and Shawn Pleffner helped make him a winner by hitting a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the sixth Tuesday night, as the Suns opened a three-game series at Delmarva with a 4-1 victory over the Shorebirds.

The Suns trimmed their deficit to 1 1/2 games in the South Atlantic League Northern Division second-half standings. The first-place West Virginia Power fell 5-1 against Greensboro on Tuesday.

Hagerstown already clinched a postseason berth by winning the first-half title.

With Tuesday’s game tied 1-1, Hagerstown’s Narcisco Mesa led off the top of the sixth with a bunt single and went to third on Tony Renda’s 37th double of the season. Pleffner then gave the Suns a 4-1 lead with his fourth home run of the year — a three-run shot to right off Shorebirds starter Juan Guzman (6-4).

Dickson benefited by getting the win, as he evened his record to 3-3. He allowed one run, five hits and a walk while striking out six in six innings of work.

Dickson was relieved by Ronald Pena, who pitched three scoreless innings to earn his first save. Pena allowed one hit and one walk and had one strikeout.

The Suns quickly took the early lead Tuesday. Mesa led off the game with a triple to right and scored as Renda followed with an RBI groundout.

Although the Shorebirds tied the game in the second, the Suns were fortunate that’s all they did.

Back-to-back singles by Wynston Sawyer and Lucas Herbst followed by a walk to Joel Hutter loaded the bases with no outs. But Nik Balog grounded into a double play, allowing Sawyer to score from third, and Kris Richards flew out to end the inning.

The Shorebirds didn’t put another runner in scoring position the rest of the night. All six of their hits in the game were singles.

Mesa and Khayyan Norfork each finished with two of Hagerstown’s seven hits.

Following the three games at Delmarva, the Suns return to Hagerstown for a four-game homestand against the Asheville Tourists, beginning Friday night at 7:05 at Municipal Stadium.

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