Last Night In Hagerstown

Ed. Note: Julie Goldberg, a veteran minor-league team employee for several teams over the past nine seasons — including the Hagerstown Suns in 2005 and the Potomac Nationals currently — gives us this dispatch from the Legends-Suns game last night in Hagerstown.

Photo Credit: Joshua Mitchell via Twitter
Hagerstown, MD – The Hagerstown Suns put on a balanced offensive show in a 10-8 win over the Lexington Legends Sunday evening at Municipal Stadium. The win improves the Suns’ record to 21-7 in 2014 and keeps them 5½ games ahead of the Greensboro Grasshoppers in the South Atlantic League’s Northern Division standings.

Seven of Hagerstown’s batters got at least one hit during the game, led by Wilson Ramos, who was making his first rehab start since going on the disabled list for the parent club on April 1st. Ramos went 2-for-3, with a home run and three runs batted in.

The Suns got their offense going early against Legends LHP Cody Reed. After shortstop Wilmer Difo reached on an error, he scored on Ramos’s base hit to score the game’s first run in the bottom of the 1st.

The Legends tied the game in the 2nd and the Suns retook the lead in the 3rd. Following walks to Rafael Bautista and Difo, Ramos put the Suns up by a score of 4-1 with a three-run home run over the right field wall.

It was a back-and-forth battle in the middle innings as the Legends answered with two runs of their own in the 4th inning off of Suns’ RHP Lucas Giolito. In the bottom half of the inning, Hagerstown first baseman John Wooten led off with a solo home run. The Suns tallied two more runs in the 4th after Willie Medina reached on an error and then later scored. Bautista was then hit by a pitch and scored the Suns’ third run of the inning on Difo’s sacrifice fly to extend the Hagerstown lead to 7-3.

The Suns added to their lead in the 5th inning after right fielder Estarlin Martinez walked to lead off the inning.He later scored on Medina’s sacrifice fly. With the bases loaded in the 6th inning, Isaac Ballou scored on Drew Ward’s force out at second base. Martinez then drove in Difo on a sacrifice fly to make the score 10-5.

Lexington would then tack on two unearned runs in the seventh and another unearned run in the 8th before RHP Ryan Ullman closed out the game in the 9th inning. Ullman pitched the final 3 2/3 innings to record his third save of the season.

Giolito pitched five innings, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks while striking out five and improved his record to 2-0 on the season.

Hagerstown closes out their homestand tonight against Lexington with first pitch at 6:35 p.m.

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

4 thoughts on “Last Night In Hagerstown”

  1. How does Ward look on defense? His bat is looking great (though the Ks are a bit worrisome), but does it look like he can stick at 3B?

    Initial reports from the GCL suggested he was holding his own, but at 18 years old, his body and defensive profile can change pretty quickly. He’s got 6 errors through 19 games, which isn’t good, but are they routine mistakes, or more of a consequence of his plus-range?

    Also, any more info on Giolito? His numbers have been merely good, and is continuing to show some control issues.

    Either way, this GCL/Hagerstown team is a force to be reckoned with! They’re quickly proving that that 49-9 record wasn’t a consequence of poor opposition; they’re just really good.

    1. I put that question to my Hagerstown guy who answered thusly:
      ” Teams have been bunting on him a lot. I think some of it is simply getting used to the position. If he puts the work in, I think he can be average. I like the bat, I think it’s going to play,but the red flag of high K’s
      at low A are there, I’ll give him a pass for now due to age.”

      A lot of folks mistakenly infer that because Ward played SS he has a lot of range. He played SS in HS because he was the best player on the team in a small town in Oklahoma. When I get his take on Giolito, I’ll let you know, but I believe Ryan Sullivan of NatsGMdotcom was in attendance last night too.

      1. Thanks!!

        I wasn’t trying to suggest that Ward has plus range, just to ask whether his errors were a result of him making plays that most average defenders could never get to, or whether he’s only handling balls hit right at him. For example, Chase Utley is still a very good defensive 2B, but he made a ridiculous 17 errors last season. Prince Fielder is probably the definition of statuesque defending, yet he only committed 6 errors last year, so errors don’t tell the whole story.

        It would be great if Ward could stick at 3B, but I suspect a corner OF move will be in the works.

        Also good stuff on Giolito, but very odd to hear that his fastball of all pitches might be his weakest! If I remember correctly, it was his fastball that garnered all the buzz around draft time, and it was his lack of a really stand out third pitch (after the curveball) that caused some worry.

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