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Andrews' effort almost wasted

June 06, 1998

By BOB PARASILITI

Staff Writer

Bobby Cripps has been getting more than his share of breaks of late.

So, he decided send one Clayton Andrews way.

Cripps' breaks have come in the form of curveballs and changeups, not exactly the pitch of choice for power hitters. Yet Hagerstown's designated hitter ripped the first change he saw for a 350-foot RBI single in the ninth inning Friday to give the Suns a 4-3 victory over Savannah and preserve something positive for Andrews.

"I told Clayton that I wanted to pick him up, I just did it a little late," Cripps said. "Clayton has been throwing gems the last seven times out there and leaving with the lead but we have had to find ways to win. He should be 8-1 right now."

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But instead, Andrews is only 4-3 and deserved much better than Friday's latest no decision. The left-hander fired seven innings of three-hit pitching with a season-high 15 strikeouts.

He left the game with a 3-1 lead after dropping his ERA to 2.12 and increasing his league lead with 101 strikeouts.

"That was the best start of my professional career," Andrews said. "I did all I could do. It's just the way things go. I'm not disappointed that I didn't get the win, I'm just glad we won."

Savannah (28-34) tied the game with two runs in the eighth off Brian Bowles and Jaron Seabury (2-1). Hagerstown (35-26) needed to do some fast work against Sand Gnats reliever David Lundberg (1-6) to make sure Andrews' effort didn't go totally for naught.

Cesar Izturis led off the ninth with a single to right and took second on Tony Peters' sacrifice bunt. After Izturis took third on Mike Young's grounder and Vernon Wells walked, Cripps ripped Lundberg's first pitch to the right field wall for the game-winning single.

"I've only seen two fastballs in the last two series," Cripps lamented. "I got sick and tired of seeing that changeup, curveball stuff. I told (hitting coach Paul Elliott) that (Lundberg) was going to start me off with a changeup and I was going to go up there and swing from my shoes and if I hit it, great."

Hagerstown took the lead against Savannah starter Ryan Allen with two unearned runs in the fifth as Jesse Zepeda scored when shortstop Willy Cordero booted what should have been a double play grounder by Mike Strange and Wells singled.

The Suns made it 3-0 in the sixth on Josh Phelps' sacrifice fly.

Jose Santos put Savannah on the board when he led off the seventh with his 10th home run of the season, the only mistake made by Andrews.

Bowles lasted one-third of an inning, allowing two singles before Seabury came on. But a passed ball and a bloop single by Juan Piniella tied the game and rendered Andrews' outing into another no-decision.

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