Suns win SAL North Division crown

The Hagerstown Suns are heading to the next round of the South Atlantic League playoffs, having recorded a 9-7 victory over the Delmarva Shorebirds Saturday to win the North Division.

Hagerstown, which rebounded from a 13-3 loss in Game 1 of the playoff against Delmarva, will face off against the Kannapolis Intimidators – a White Sox farm club – in a best-of-five final series beginning Monday.

The Suns jumped out to a 5-1 lead after two innings behind the Hagerstown return of first-half star Dante Brinkley, who was called back to the club from Class-A St. Lucie after SAL steals leader Carlos Gomez injured his groin. Brinkley hit a two-run homer and scored twice in a nine-run, 14-hit Suns attack.

They'd need the offensive support, with Delmarva launching a constant attack against four Hagerstown pitchers. Blake Eager started and allowed three runs (one earned) in four innings, while lefty Edgar Alfonzo pitched three innings of one-run relief to earn the win. Marcel Perez notched the save in relief of Rafael Cova, who allowed three runs in the eighth.

Hagerstown and Kannapolis get underway on Monday, with Game 1 to begin at 6:35 p.m. Game 2 is slated for Tuesday, with Games 3, 4 and 5 (if necessary) to be played in Kannapolis beginning Thursday.

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