Sanchez, Concepcion help Suns even series

Jose Sanchez threw six strong innings and Ambiorix Concepcion added two RBI as The Hagerstown Suns defeated Kannapolis Tuesday, 5-3, evening the best-of-five South Atlantic League championships.

After losing Monday's series opener, the Suns needed a big bounce-back to avoid falling too deep against a strong Kannapolis club, and Sanchez provided it.

The right-hander earned a SAL All-Star selection in the first half after starting out 9-0, but had fallen back to earth as the season wound down, finishing 11-5 and sparking some concern about a tired arm.

But Sanchez gave the Suns just what they needed Tuesday, firing six innings of one-run, six-hit ball for his first victory since July 9.

The Suns took an early lead in the first on Concepcion's one-out sacrifice fly, and regained a 3-1 advantage in the third on run-scoring singles by Concepcion and Grant Psomas. Hagerstown's Kyle Brown also kept a run off the board, gunning down Boomer Berry at the plate in the third inning.

A bases-loaded walk to Jesus Flores in the fifth and Brown's eighth-inning single off reliever Garry Bakker capped the scoring for Hagerstown, and provided some breathing room after Kannapolis touched reliever Edgar Alfonzo for a pair of runs in the seventh.

Closer Marcelo Perez struck out two batters in a scoreless ninth inning, earning his second save of the postseason.

The series now moves down to North Carolina after an off-day Wednesday. Mike Devaney is Hagerstown's scheduled starter for Thursday, with Jack Egbert expected to climb the hill for Kannapolis.

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