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Suns escape to force Game 3

September 06, 1998|By BOB PARASILITI

Hagerstown Suns manager Marty Pevey's favorite video is an action thriller with a lot of destruction and a happy ending.

Forget Titanic. Pevey has been watching 1997 films of Greg Morrison during his triple-crown season at Medicine Hat. That's when the first baseman was at his best, hitting for average, power and production with a lost ability to drive the ball to the opposite field.

On Saturday, film became reality, as Morrison went from screen star to center stage.

The left-handed Morrison broke open a tie game with a two-out, two-run double on a drive to left off left-handed closer Shawn Barry to highlight a four-run eighth inning and lift the Suns to a come-from-behind 11-9 victory over Capital City Bombers at Municipal Stadium.

The big inning allowed the Suns to tie the South Atlantic League best-of-3 semifinal series at one game each with the deciding game to be played today.

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"That was something he did all last year," Pevey said, holding up the VCR tape of Morrison's greatest hits. "I've been watching this tape, studying and studying, trying to figure it out. He hit a lot of home runs last year hitting to the opposite field. He hadn't done that here this year."

Morrison couldn't have chosen a better time to revert to old habits.

The Suns closed within 9-8 in the eighth when Josh Phelps reached on an error and scored on Cesar Izturis' triple to right past Thomas Johnson. Tony Peters struck out, but reached on a wild pitch which ended with Izturis being tagged out in a controversial play at the plate.

After Mike Young walked and Chris Hayes flew to center, Morrison came to the plate with the game and the series on his bat. He laced Barry's outside pitch over the head of left fielder Cory Patton for the two RBI.

"That's normal," Morrison said. "When a lefty is pitching, I try to stay back longer. The pitch came away and I got it off the end of the bat, but it was enough to get it out there over (Patton's head). He was playing shallow and I thought he caught it in stride, but..."

Vernon Wells added an insurance run with another double. Matt Weimer, the third of four Hagerstown pitchers, won the game with one-third inning of relief behind starter John Sneed.

"I want to go out there and try to help this team with every at-bat," Morrison said. "If we are going to go all the way, we're half way there now. We have a lot more winning to do. If we don't win this series (today), this hit means nothing."

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