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Suns fish out third straight win

May 29, 1998

BY BILL STERNER / Staff Correspondent

Hagerstown Suns manager Marty Pevey just wanted to continue the trend.

After suffering through a four-game losing streak, Hagerstown is now on the brink of sweeping the Hickory Crawdads after a 5-2 South Atlantic League victory Thursday night at Municipal Stadium. It was the Suns' third straight win and their tenth in eleven starts at home in May.

"Everyone loves to play at home," Pevey said of a team that has posted a 17-5 record in Municipal Stadium this season.

Hagerstown's Isabel Giron (4-5) scattered seven hits over 5 2/3 innings, Colin Brackeen allowed one hit in 2 1/3 innings and Jaron Seabury picked up his eighth save as Suns pitching stonewalled the Crawdads.

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"Our starting pitching had been a tremendous plus for us," Pevey said. "Giron worked ahead of the hitters all night and he changed speeds well."

The Crawdads had runners on second and third in the second inning, but never really threatened until the fifth when Durante Hollins reached third on an error and two-base overthrow. He scored on Chad Durham's infield sacrifice. Pevey went with the left-handed Brackeen, who ended the inning on a strikeout.

"We just wanted to give them a different look," Pevey said. "Different speeds - anything to mix it up."

Hagerstown (30-24) took the lead in the third inning, stringing together five runs on five hits off Crawdad starter Curtis Whitley (2-5). Most of the damage was done by designated hitter Bobby Cripps' three-run homer that easily cleared the wall in right field. It was number 13 for Cripps, and was the grand finale of a barrage of Hagerstown hits after two were out in the inning.

Mike Young reached on a single to open the inning, and with two outs, Vernon Wells walked. Lorenzo Bagley drove an 0-1 pitch up the middle, scoring Young. Tony Peters followed with a single that scored Wells and set the stage for Cripps.

"He threw me a slider in and down," Cripps said of the very first pitch thrown by Whitley. "I knew he didn't have an overpowering fast ball and that breaking pitch was a good one for a left-hander. I took advantage of it and got under it."

"That hit was definitely huge," Pevey said. "That broke their backs."

The Suns end their series with the Crawdads today following the dedication of the new picnic area to the late Nellie Fox.

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