Suns get victory vs. Crocs in 12th

April 26, 1998|By CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent

Bobby Cripps didn't seem to mind at all that Randy Albaral stole his thunder.

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Cripps muscled up for two home runs, drove in two runs, went 3-for-4 at the plate and scored three runs, but watched from the on-deck circle as Albaral sliced a single to shallow right field to score Mike Strange with the winning run in the 12th inning of the Hagerstown Suns' 4-3 win over Cape Fear Saturday night in South Atlantic League play.

"I just wanted to put the ball in play," said Albaral, whose game-winning hit came in his first at-bat of the game.

"I knew he (Cape Fear reliever Jeremy Salyers) was going to try to come with a fastball. That's about all he threw. I was just looking to fight him off, and put the ball in play, make something happen."


While the offense struggled to score runs, Hagerstown relievers Anthony Salley and Jaron Seabury (1-0) kept the Crocs (19-4) at bay, allowing just one hit and an unearned run through the last seven innings

Starter Matt McClellan gave up two runs (one earned) on three hits through the first five innings.

"(The pitchers) did an outstanding job," Suns manager Marty Pevey said. They kept us in the game. (The Crocs) are a good ball club, but we stuck in there and kept battling."

After Cape Fear scored its only earned run of the game in the top of the second on a Willie Oropeza triple to left, Cripps' first homer of the night tied the score in the bottom half of the inning.

A Brian Schneider sacrifice fly gave the Crocs a 2-1 lead in the fourth, but Cripps singled with one out in the bottom of the fourth, stole second, moved to third on Billy Brown's single, and scored on Lorenzo Bagley's groundout to the shortstop.

Another Suns error contributed to Cape Fear's third run, but again, Cripps tied the score with his second homer over the right-center field wall.

"I've been working a lot on my hitting," said Cripps. "I took extra (batting practice) today, and (Greg) Morrison and George Bell have helped a lot.

"I just wanted to see the ball well, and hit it hard. The first (home run) felt good, but the second one really made my night."

The Suns (14-9) had a runner on base in every inning but the third, and had a runner in scoring position in each of the last four innings, but were unable to score until the 12th.

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