Suns bag doubleheader

June 09, 1998|By BOB PARASILITI

by Joe Crocetta / staff photographer


Suns win 2Suns bag doubleheader

Lorenzo Bagley never gave a thought about hitting on Monday.

That was all right, though. The Charleston Alley Cats never gave a fight.

Charleston was on the wrong end of what became a rumble at Municipal Stadium as Hagerstown clubbed six home runs - including three by Bagley for eight RBIs - in a crucial 4-3 and 20-7 doubleheader sweep which put the Suns back in the South Atlantic League's Northern Division first-half title chase.

The sweep, coupled with Cape Fear's 8-7 loss in 10 innings to Delmarva, moves the Suns (38-26) within 3 1/2 games of first place in the final week of the first half. Hagerstown, which plays another doubleheader tonight, has seven games remaining while the Crocs must play six.


Bagley set the tone for the night by stroking three-run home runs in the first inning of each game, drove in the game-winning run in the opener and provided the middle blast of three consecutive homers in the fourth inning of the nightcap. And he did it all without a conscious thought.

"I just wasn't thinking," said the left fielder, who doubled his home run output to six. "I was just out there and relaxed at the plate. I haven't seen a game like this in awhile ... I'd have to go way back. The hitting was just contagious."

It was epidemic proportions as far as the Alley Cats (23-41) were concerned. Charleston was one hit away from elimination the Suns from the first-half race, but ended up as the springboard to make it all interesting.

Hagerstown scored 24 runs on 23 hits, which included:

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> The six home runs - three three-run shots, a grand slam by Vernon Wells and two solo shots.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> Two innings in the nightcap when the Suns batted around in the nightcap. Hagerstown sent nine batters to the plate in the fourth, which included Bobby Cripps' game-breaking three-run shot followed by the solo shots by Bagley and Greg Morrison for five runs. Then in the sixth, Hagerstown sent 14 more batters up for an eight-run outburst, capped by Wells' grand slam.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> In the sixth, the first eight Suns reached base against reliever Andy Danner, who failed to get an out while allowing all eight runs on six hits and two walks.

"The guys swung the bats extremely well tonight," said Suns manager Marty Pevey in an understatement. "They have been swinging well for the last couple of weeks because we have had a lot of 10-, 12-hit games. But still, I haven't seen anything like that."

In the opener, Bagley ripped his first three-run shot to right center field off starter Jacobo Sequea to give the Suns the early lead.

Charleston touched Matt McClellan with Brandon O'Hearn's leadoff homer in the second and two unearned runs in the third to tie the game at 3-3.

The Suns wiggled out of what could have been a half-ending jam in the seventh when McClellan left with runners on first and second with one out. Matt Weimer (4-1) came on to get two key groundballs, the second a come-backer to the mound by Wilmy Caceres, to preserve the tie.

Bagley won the first game with a two-out, bases-loaded single off David Shepard (2-8) in the seventh. Tim Huff (2-0) won the nightcap in relief. Charleston scored five runs off starter Brian Bowles in the second, but Hagerstown scored two runs in the second and third to reassume a 7-5 lead and then laid waste to the Alley Cats' pitching staff.

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