By Michael Marzzacco
Compiled via team press releases:
SYRACUSE (AAA International League): The Syracuse Chiefs exploded for ten runs in the ninth inning on the way to a 17-9 victory over the Lehigh Valley IronPigs Friday night at Coca-Cola Park. It marked a season-high for runs in an inning (10), runs in a game (17) and hits in a game (18) this year for the Chiefs, and Syracuse’s most runs in a game since July 26th, 2012, a 17-9 win at Rochester. Brandon Snyder drove in six runs, a season-high for RBIs by a Chief this year. The Chiefs finished 13-for-21 with runners in scoring position on the night.
HARRISBURG (AA Eastern): Osvaldo Abreu homered and doubled, driving in three runs and scoring a pair as the Harrisburg Senators topped the Richmond Flying Squirrels 9-6 on Friday.
Jose Marmolejos homered and singled with two RBIs for Harrisburg.
Harrisburg went up 3-0 in the second after Abreu hit a two-run home run.
Richmond answered in the top of the next frame when Slade Heathcott hit a two-run home run to cut the deficit to one.
The Senators later added three runs in both the third and sixth innings. In the third, Raudy Read hit a two-run home run and Marmolejos hit a solo home run, while Abreu hit an RBI double and then scored on a single by Stephen Perez in the sixth.
Harrisburg starter Wirkin Estevez (1-0) picked up the win despite allowing three runs and seven hits over 5 1/3 innings. Opposing starter Jordan Johnson (4-4) took the loss in the Eastern League game after a rough outing in which he allowed eight runs and eight hits over 5 1/3 innings.
For the Flying Squirrels, Heathcott homered and singled twice, driving in two runs. C.J Hinojosa doubled and singled three times, scoring a run and also driving one home.
POTOMAC (High-A Carolina League): The second game of the four-game series between the Potomac Nationals (32-35) and Carolina Mudcats (34-31) has been suspended due to rain. The game got underway but the teams made it just two batters before the skies opened up and steady rain stayed overhead for the better part of an hour. The game is scoreless with the bases empty and two outs in the top of the first inning.
The teams will resume Friday night’s matchup on Saturday and finish the nine innings. Approximately 30 minutes after that game wraps up, the two squads will play a seven-inning affair at Five County Stadium, the third game of the series.
First pitch from Zebulon, NC is set for 4:00pm Saturday night.
HAGERSTOWN (Low-A South Atlantic): The Hagerstown Suns entered Friday night’s game against the Lexington Legends looking to hit the reset button after a four-game sweep at the hands of the Kannapolis Intimidators. With Kannapolis winning on Friday, the Suns had to win to keep their first-half title hopes alive, which would earn an automatic South Atlantic League playoff berth. An early back and forth game wound up going the way of the home team, with a 14-3 victory being earned by Lexington. The loss drops Hagerstown to 37-31 in the first half and Lexington is now at the .500 mark, 34-34.
Things got started early for the Suns, an encouraging sign given how the road trip began. With one down, Aldrem Corredor ripped his 19th double on the season to left field to get the first baserunner of the game for Hagerstown. Daniel Johnson followed on a 1-1 count and did the same, with his double to right field. Ordinarily this would score a run, but Corredor had to wait to make sure the ball was not caught, and could only advance to third. Sheldon Neuse made sure the run would score, and did so with a groundout to shortstop, pushing across the first run of the game for the visitors. Lexington quickly had an answer against Suns starter Carlos Pena, who allowed the tying run in the second. A hit batter, soft single, and walk loaded the bases with just one out, and Rudy Martin hit a sacrifice fly to left, tying the game at 1-1.
The Suns recaptured the lead in the fourth and did so completely on the back of two-out hitting. Jake Noll knocked his tenth double of the season to center field, and Nick Banks singled back up the middle to score Noll and put the Suns in front 2-1. Again, an answer would be found by Lexington, scoring twice in the fourth. Pena hit another batter and allowed a single to lead off the inning, forcing a brief meeting at the mound. After rebounding with a strikeout, he allowed a triple off the bat of Marten Gasparini to score both men on base and put the Suns behind 3-2.
The sixth inning began with a Corredor walk and a Neuse single with one out, and once again the Suns were threatening with men on. With two down, things looked grim again Ofreidy Gomez (3-7), the starter for the Legends, but Banks came through again. He doubled to left field to drive home Corredor and tie the game up with his second RBI of the night.
Steven Fuentes (2-3) came on in relief of Pena, who finished the night after going five innings, allowing six hits, three runs, one walk, and four strikeouts. Entering in a tie game, Fuentes only needed to keep things at bay and give his bats a chance in the later innings. Unfortunately for Hagerstown, the Lexington bats were the ones awoken. John Brontsema mashed his second homer of the season to left center on the first pitch of the inning, putting the Legends in front 4-3. Two more runs would score in the inning with two outs after a double from Khalil Lee and a single from Angelo Castellano made it 6-3. To put the game away, four more runs were pushed across in the bottom of the seventh for the Legends, highlighted by a three-run home run from Rudy Martin to make it 10-3. Yeison Melo cleared a bases loaded situation in the eighth with a double, pouring it on at 13-3.
With the Kannapolis Intimidators winning their game against West Virginia, the Suns are two games behind Kannapolis with two games to play. The Intimidators own the head-to-head tiebreaker, eliminating the Suns from first-half title contention. Game two of the series is on Saturday at 6:35 PM, and the series wraps up on Sunday at 2:05 PM.