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Suns Tie

July 31, 1998|By BOB PARASILITI

The Hagerstown Suns tried to knock off two invincible foes in one game.

The Suns figured out a way to handle Cape Fear this week. But the weather, that's a different story.

Hagerstown pulled out every fundamental trick possible to snatch a rain-shortened game.

Instead, the Suns were forced to score a run in the fifth to preserve a rain-suspended 2-2 South Atlantic League tie Thursday at Municipal Stadium.

"That was crazy," Suns manager Marty Pevey said. "Have you ever seen so much bunting and hit-and-runs in your life? I told the guys that we wanted to get a run early, take the lead and hand it over to Clayton (Andrews). We figured with the weather, we were stepping on the field already playing the fifth inning."

A slight drizzle had already started by the time Andrews took the mound to start the game. It was a top priority to get the game in before the rain because this was Cape Fear's last regular-season visit to Hagerstown.

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"We wanted to work fast and get the first run," Pevey said. "I thought this game was going to be a race to 4 1/2 innings."

If Hagerstown could own the lead by the halfway point of the game, the Suns would have been declared winners had the game been stopped by the weather.

Instead, with the help of two unearned runs, Cape Fear forced the Suns to scramble to score a tying run in the bottom of the fifth to prevent the Crocs from turning the table on them.

Lorenzo Bagley drove home Jesse Zepeda with a single to left center field that he tried to turn into a double in the muck and mire of the infield. After Tony Peters walked with two outs, the umpires stopped the game.

The game was suspended after a 50-minute rain delay and will be picked up at the point it was halted on Aug. 8 when the Suns go to Fayetteville, N.C.

"We could have had this game but we shot ourselves in the foot with errors," Pevey said. "We got that error at short and then the one in right field and that let them back into the game."

Hagerstown took a 1-0 lead in the first when Randy Albaral led off with a single and took second on Ryan Becks' wild pitch before scoring on Mike Young's double.

But Cesar Izturis let Danny Bravo's leadoff grounder go through his legs to open the fourth. Bravo moved around on a bunt and a flyout before tying the game by scoring on Kevin Forbes' sacrifice fly.

The Crocs took the lead in the fifth when Luis Morillo dropped Luis Rivera's fly in right for a two-base error. Scott Zech's sacrifice bunt and Jason Hendricks' fly out gave Cape Fear a 2-1 lead, forcing Hagerstown to scramble for the tie and the right to play another day.

The Suns open a series in Charleston, W. Va. tonight.

Hagerstown's Matt McClellan (7-7, 2.36 earned run average) will oppose Charleston's Jacobo Sequa (3-4, 5:04).

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