HAGERSTOWN, Md. - The Hagerstown Suns were able to pop two corks on Saturday.
They first released the pressure of a tight game in the form of a three-run sixth inning.
The second came off of champagne bottles in celebration of winning the South Atlantic League's Northern Division title.
Hagerstown pushed across three critical runs in the sixth to extend a tenuous one-run lead and complete a yearlong quest for the division championship with a 6-2 victory over the West Virginia Power to win the best-of-3 series on Saturday at Municipal Stadium.
"We earned it," said Suns manager Tripp Keister. "We had a hard time doing it. We didn't play well last night, but we played well tonight. We wanted to be aggressive and grind it out."
The victory moves Hagerstown into the South Atlantic League championship series against Savannah, the New York Mets affiliate. The Suns will host the first two games on Monday and Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. before heading to Georgia for games on Thursday and, if needed, Friday and Saturday.
The team announced there will be free admission to Monday's game.
Tony Renda and Shawn Pleffner led the way Saturday, driving in two runs each, while leadoff hitter Isaac Ballou had four hits and reached base nine straight times over the last two games of the series. Hagerstown collected 16 hits in the deciding game after losing a 6-3 heartbreaker in 11 innings on Friday.
"Ballou had a great series," Keister said. "He was struggling but I told him he had to be aggressive. He and Renda made a great pair at the top. Tony has been there all year and Shawn came up with the big two-out hits."
The Suns broke the game open using the most innocent of Power mistakes to start a rally.
Stephen Perez led off the sixth by striking out, but reached second when a wild pitch by West Virginia reliever Jason Creasy rolled into the Power dugout.
Ballou followed with a single to move Perez to third. Renda fought off a two-strike pitch to right field to score Perez and put the Suns up 4-2.