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Dogs howl over Hagerstown

August 25, 1998|By BOB PARASILITI

Things went so badly for the Hagerstown Suns on Monday, it all but changed manager Marty Pevey's outlook.

"I want to win. I want to win every game we play," he said. "This one I had to concede."

That's the closest thing to a surrender that's come out of the Hagerstown camp this season. But the Charleston (S.C.) RiverDogs slapped the Suns silly, using a pair of five-run innings for the foundation of a 14-7 South Atlantic League ambush during a businessman's afternoon special at Municipal Stadium.

The Suns (34-31, 78-57 overall) looked like Dracula on a noon lunch date in the afternoon sun. They were listless, had little bite and perform much better at night.

"We just took a beating today," Pevey said. "Seventeen hits, I mean. They just whooped up on us. We hit the ball good and made some good defensive plays on balls that were rat-a-tat-tatted at us, but ..."

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But errors and odd plays went against the Suns while pitchers Joe Young (3-1) and Brian Bowles couldn't find the answer to prevent the RiverDogs' from producing their highest run (14) and hit (17) outputs of the year. It was the worst beating suffered by the Suns' pitching staff this season, increasing the team's earned run average from 3.15 to 3.21.

"I look at the amount of fastballs and changes we threw today, and I think that sometimes our guys get in the mentality that 'I'm going to get this one by the hitter by throwing it as hard as I can,'" Pevey said, while looking at the team pitching charts. "Today, with the wind blowing out, it was better to use the change to set up the fastball instead of the other way around."

Charleston (32-33, 63-72) broke through on Young with five runs in the third, started by Damian Scioneaux's bloop triple to left and capped by Trey Saunas' two-run homer. Saunas ripped Hagerstown pitching by going 4-for-5 with three runs scored and the two RBIs.

The Suns got one run back in the fourth on Chris Hayes' solo homer and chased starter Victor Zambrano with three runs in the fourth on a two-out rally highlighted by Luis Morillo's two-run double and Jesse Zepeda's RBI single to cut the deficit to 5-4.

But it only kept the Suns in the game briefly.

Charleston came back with five runs in the sixth, all after two outs, mainly on Rafael Guererro's two-run double and a wild pitch and passed ball, both of which scored runs.

"I thought we had turned things our way, and I ran Young back out there," Pevey said. "He gets two outs and gives up two hits before I bring Bowles in. Then they get that double, and all I could say is 'Oh no, here we go.'"

The Suns managed to scratch back to within 11-7, but Jack Jeffrion erased any doubt with a three-run homer in the ninth.

The Suns managed 11 hits, led by Morillo's 3-for-5 game and Vernon Wells' two hits.

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