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Gnats sting Suns

May 18, 1999|By BOB PARASILITI

Scott Cassidy used the Muhammed Ali method of picking up a loss on Tuesday.

The Hagerstown Suns starter was KO'ed when his pitches began to float a little like a butterfly and he was stung by a bee.

Or in this case, a BB.

Cassidy locked up with Savannah starter Travis Hughes in a good, ol' fashioned pitching duel for seven innings. But Cassidy took a flurry of hits, starting with a double and a single and compounded by his first two walks of the game, in a three-run eighth inning before going down in a 4-1 loss to the Sand Gnats.

Cassidy allowed one run on three hits while striking out seven to keep the Suns (25-14) in a 1-1 tie.

Juan Torres started the rally with a one-out double, and Pedro Guerrero singled to back Cassidy into a corner. Suddenly, the pitcher couldn't counter punch.

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"He wasn't losing any velocity, just some location." Suns manager Rolando Pino said. "Cassidy did a good job until that last inning. (Hughes) just shut us down."

Cassidy walked Corey Wright to load the bases and prompt Pino's first visit to the mound, more to fan a towel in the pitcher's face than to throw it in.

"I wasn't going take him out with the bases loaded," Pino said. "He still had the velocity. I just went out to help him relax, regain his composure and give him some time. I told him to get a ground ball back and throw it to (catcher Jose) Umbria to start the double play."

But Cassidy left the game after walking Brandon Warriax to allow the go-ahead run. Brian Bowles came on to allow a sacrifice fly to Cody Howlin and a RBI single to Kevin Harris to close the scoring.

"He's usually not that wild," Pino said.

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