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Mongan 'catches' on to help power Braves by AA's

August 04, 1998|By JACK HILL III

FAYETTEVILLE, Pa. - Doug Mongan found the best remedy for Hagerstown Braves manager Danny Cunningham's aching back.

Like two hits, including a three-run home run.

With Cunningham missing the start at catcher with a pulled back muscle, Mongan took over to lead the Braves' offense, which stroked three home runs, for a 12-2 victory over the Fayetteville AA's Monday and a two-games-to-one lead in the best-of-seven Blue Ridge Adult League championship series.

The game was called after five innings because of the 10-run rule. The series resumes in Fayetteville tonight at 6.

"Everybody was seeing the ball tonight and hitting it well," Mongan said. "We just happened to get the ball in the air. I just hope that we can keep doing for it for the rest of the tournament."

Mongan clubbed his game-breaking homer in the fourth inning.

"Doug Mongan is a great team player," Cunningham said. "He knows his role and he performs well. When the big game is here, Doug gives it everything that he has."

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The homers gave ample support to Hagerstown pitcher Mark Shives, who allowed on earned run on four hits in five innings for the win.

"We had a nice pitching performance tonight by Mark Shives," Mongan said. "He kept them off-balance for the whole game. We came out to play good baseball. You can pretty much win if you can get a combination of good hitting and good pitching."

The Braves broke a scoreless tie with five runs in the third inning.

With one out, both Mongan and Rodney Young reached on infield singles. Mike Martin followed with a two-out walk to load the bases. Nate Reeser brought home the first run when he was hit by a pitch.

Mickey Kerns capped the rally by blasting a grand slam to left-center for the 5-0 advantage.

The Braves added seven runs in the fourth.

Ronnie Palmer and Danny Summers led off with singles to set up Mongan's home run. After Kevin Crawford's one-out single, Reeser singled and Kerns walked with two outs to load the bases. Pat Sweeney put the game out of reach with his 19th home run, a grand slam to right field.

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