Hagerstown jumped out to a 2-1 lead after two innings behind a run-scoring double play grounder and a wild pitch, but the free lunch ended in the fourth inning.
There, starter Michael Devaney imploded, issuing a bases-loaded walk to Bernard Gonzalez and a two-run single to Adam Ricks before manager Gene Richards handed the ball off to reliever Orlando Rengel.
Rengel would hit a batter and allow a run-scoring sacrifice fly, plus a two-run single to Chris Getz, before the six-run carnage came to an end.
Kannapolis added three more runs off Rengel and Brandon Nall in the fifth to take a commanding 10-2 lead, adding a pair of runs in the seventh and eighth innings to extend their advantage. Hagerstown finally answered with three runs in the ninth inning, but it was too little, too late.
Now, the Suns must win on Friday to force a deciding Game 5, or hand the championship to Kannapolis, a White Sox farm club – right-hander Blake Eager will start for Hagerstown, with Kannapolis' starter to be announced.