The Hagerstown Suns out-slugged the 1st-Half Northern Division Champion Hickory Crawdads, 13-8, before 532 fans at Municipal Stadium on Tuesday night.
The Crawdads (72-53, 32-35) got off to a quick start. Jake Skole led off the game with a triple against Doug Slaten, who was making a rehab assignment. Skole scored on a throwing error by catcher Adrian Nieto that sailed into left field.
Hickory added to its lead with a two-run single by Odubel Herrera in the top of the second, but Hagerstown put together a three-run rally of its own in the bottom of the second that tied the game at 3-3. With runners at the corners and nobody out, a sacrifice fly by Justino Cuevas got the Suns (71-56, 31-26) on the board. One out later, an error on a by Herrera in shallow right field allowed the inning to continue, leading to a two-run single by Chris Curran.
The Suns jumped on top with two runs in the third, and they built an 8-3 lead with three more runs in the fourth. A bases-loaded, three-run double by Nieto highlighted the fourth-inning rally. An RBI single Josh Richmond in the top of the fifth brought the 'Dads within four runs, 8-4.
But Hagerstown, thanks to a solo home run by Nieto in the sixth and an unearned run in the seventh, gave the Suns a 10-4 lead. A sacrifice fly by Jhonny Gomez in the top of the eighth made it 10-5, but the Suns plated three more in the bottom of the inning. Cuevas drove in another run with an RBI single, and a two-run double by Michael Taylor gave the Suns a 13-5 advantage.
The Crawdads scored three runs in the ninth, but the comeback fell short. Christian Villanueva kept the game going with a single. Alejandro Selen was hit by a pitch, and Richmond drove in Villanueva with an RBI double off the center field wall. Jonathan Roof and Kellin Deglan both walked, forcing in another run and cutting the deficit to 13-7. Another run scored on a wild pitch, but Gomez struck out to end the game.
NOTES: The Crawdads continue a four-game road trip to Hagerstown on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m.