Suns hand game to Shorebirds

July 12, 1998|By BOB PARASILITI

No one can say the Hagerstown Suns don't know how to throw a giveaway weekend.

Kids are receiving batting gloves, wristbands and balls for attending games this weekend. Meanwhile, the Delmarva Shorebirds got themselves a free ball game on Saturday.

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The Suns committed five errors - including two critical miscues on one play which led to the winning run in the ninth inning - to hand the Shorebirds a 7-6 South Atlantic League victory.

"We truly gave them that ball game. There is no doubt about it," said Suns manager Marty Pevey with a shake of his head.


The Suns didn't just give it to Delmarva. They thrusted it deep into the Shorebirds' back pockets.

Five of the seven runs scored by Delmarva were unearned. And the defense let down in spots after the Suns' offense showed it was coming around in the see-saw battle.

It was a game where no doing the little things meant a lot and made an undeserving loser of reliever Colin Brackeen (3-4).

"We did some good things today," Pevey said. "We hit the ball well and, with the exception of the errors, we played good defense. But the errors, along with leadoff walks, passed balls, wild pitches and not backing up on plays, are the things that killed us. You can't expect to win with things like that."

Nor can you expect to be in the ball game.

Hagerstown (7-16, 51-42 overall) battled back from a 6-4 deficit on Greg Morrison's sixth-inning home run and eighth-inning RBI single to give the Suns the chance to extend their three-game winning streak.

Chris Hayes opened the ninth with a diving stop on the third-base line to retire Darnell McDonald. But Hayes followed by allowing Luis Matos' grounder to skip through his legs for an error. Cesar Izturis backed up the play and then threw away the ball, allowing Matos to take third.

After Richard Paz was intentionally walked, Frankie Figueroa chopped a grounder to third to bring home the winning run.

"I just told the guys if you don't have the play, you don't have to throw the ball," Pevey said. "Just eat it. It was a case of trying to do too much."

South Hagerstown's Derek Brown pitched the ninth for his 24th save to make a winner of Delmarva's Jeremy Halpin (8-3).

Suns starter John Sneed allowed six runs, but only two earned, in six innings. Three Suns errors in the first three innings gave Delmarva the first three runs.

Josh Phelps' two-run homer lifted the Suns to a 3-2 lead in the second. Lorenzo Bagley's sacrifice fly in the third gave Hagerstown a 4-3 lead before Delmarva scored the next three runs.

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