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Change in the script

April 16, 1999|By BOB PARASILITI

Expected happy return wrecked in home opener

The Hagerstown Suns wanted their home opener to be a box office smash.

But "Gone With the Wind" wasn't what they had in mind.

The Greensboro Bats ruined the Suns' first appearance of the season at Municipal Stadium, blasting five home runs - most without the aid of the strong jetstream that blew to right field - to post a 12-4 victory Friday before 2,854 fans.

"That's not the way you want to start like when you are at home," Suns manager Rolando Pino said. "But those kinds of games happen."

And it happened in explosive fashion. The Bats lived up to their nickname, swinging the sticks with authority to ruin the home debut of Suns starter Scott Cassidy (1-1). Greensboro second baseman Scott Kidd ripped three home runs and drove in five, including a three-run shot in the second and one of three homers hit in the fourth.

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"Scott threw a lot of strikes, but his location wasn't good," Pino said. "He was mixing his pitches, but he was getting the ball up. The wind was blowing out, but they weren't being helped out."

Greensboro starter Jay Blevins (1-0) allowed one hit in his five-inning outing while striking out five. Jay Gibbons was the only Hagerstown batter to solve Blevins with a fourth-inning double.

The Bats got to Cassidy in the second as Andrea Castri and Andy Brown led off with singles before Kidd's one-out blast to right field for a 3-0 lead. Kidd entered the game hitting .176 with one home run and three RBIs while striking out 13 times.

Greensboro chased Cassidy with a six-run fourth as Brown, Kidd and Dion Washington each hit solo homers. Cassidy left with the bases loaded before Matt Gourlay allowed a base-clearing double to Scott Seabol.

The Suns got on the board against Greensboro's bullpen, scoring once in the seventh and three times in the eighth. Tyler Thompson lofted a sacrifice fly in the seventh while Jorge Nunez and Gibbons drove in runs in the eighth.

"We'll keep fighting," Pino said. "We'll bounce back tomorrow."

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