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Southpaw slinger sticks it to Suns

July 27, 1998|By BOB PARASILITI

There's a right side and a wrong side for pitchers when they face the Hagerstown Suns.

On Sunday, Capital City's Kevin Dougherty was right by being wrong.

That "wrong side" is any pitcher who throws with his left arm. It saps the Suns' strength quicker than a kryptonite cape around Superman's neck. And Dougherty had Hagerstown flailing away for 7 1/3 innings in the Bombers' 8-3 South Atlantic League victory before 2,838 at Municipal Stadium.

"We just didn't hit the ball," Pevey said. "(Dougherty) pitched a good game ... it was just another left-hander who really stuck it to us."

The Suns (14-23, 58-49 overall) weren't the first team to be baffled by the 6-foot-5 left-hander, who entered the game with an 11-1 record with a 2.63 earned run average. His effectiveness held true by allowing two hits - Tony Peters' leadoff double in the first and Vernon Wells' infield single in the seventh - until tiring in the eighth.

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But then, of course, Dougherty wasn't the first left-hander to give the Suns problems. Hagerstown is 16-17 this season against lefties, who have been able to limit the effectiveness of Hagerstown's left-handed power hitters.

"He must be a good pitcher," Pevey said, looking at Dougherty's statistics. "He did a good job changing speeds and then he'd come in with his fastball."

While Dougherty was near flawless through the first six innings, Suns starter Joe Casey (2-7) struggled. His early wildness actually kept the game close by keeping the Bombers guessing, but his high-pitch count finally caught up to him.

Capital City (22-15, 69-37 overall) broke through in the fourth as Alex Escobar led off with his 20th homer.

The Bombers chased Casey with a four-run fifth inning, which was capped by Patrick Burns' two-run homer off reliever Tim Huff.

Dougherty left with two runners on in the eighth for Pat Gorman. Gorman walked Chris Hayes to load the bases before serving up a two-run single off the center field wall to Bobby Cripps. Mike Young tripled in the ninth and scored on Randy Albaral's single.

Some drama unfolded in the top of the ninth when Suns closer Jaron Seabury was ejected by plate umpire Steve Metheny after throwing two pitches behind Burns.

The incident nearly brought Capital City out of the dugout and caused a verbal confrontation between the teams in front of their clubhouses as they left the field.

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