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Kingery spots Suns a victory

June 15, 1999|By BOB PARASILITI

Jarrod Kingrey makes a living out of being in tight spots.

But now, the Hagerstown Suns closer isn't content with just the pressure-packed spots he's been put in. No, Kingrey is going out and creating his own.

[cont. from sports page]

Kingrey squirmed out of yet another situation, this time striking out Rod Metzler to end the game with the tying run on third base for the save Monday to preserve Hagerstown's 8-7 victory over the Charleston (W.Va.) Alley Cats at Municipal Stadium.

The only guy who might have tighter seals than Kingrey is a Tupperware salesman. But Kingrey had to work longer - 1 2/3 innings, in fact - to put the lid on the Alley Cats (29-37).

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"I like to get up and throw as much as I can," Kingrey said. "I need to throw to be able to learn about my job. I have a lot of learning to do about every situation. And every situation that comes up, (pitching coach Hector Berrios) talks to me about them, even with that bloop hit. I missed my spot."

Kingrey became the Suns' third pitcher of the game when he relieved Brian Bowles to protect an 8-6 lead with a runner on second and one out. Suns manager Rolando Pino knew Kingrey was the man for the job.

"I made the move for him then because I felt we needed (the closer) in that situation," Pino said. "We've used him this long before, a couple of times on the road."

The slack tightened on Kingrey when he allowed Juan Brito a two-out bloop single that cut the deficit to one run before he got out of the inning.

In the ninth, Corey Hart led off with a bloop double down the soggy left field line. Hart took third when Kingrey pounced on a grounder to the left of the mound and threw out David Goodwin at first.

With Hart at third and one out, it was time to see what Kingrey had learned.

The right-hander got Ryan Shackelford to hit a sharp grounder to Matt Logan at first - forcing Hart to stay at third - and closed the game by striking out Metzler on four pitches to notch his 13th save.

"I got a little mad about that bloop hit," Kingrey said. "I made a mistake. The first guy, I wanted to keep the ball down so he couldn't bloop another hit. And the last guy, I upped my intensity a little."

Starter Scott Cassidy (6-3) gave up two runs in the first as the Suns (43-22) began a cat-and-mouse game with the Alley Cats. Hagerstown took a 3-2 lead after one inning on RBI singles by Jay Gibbons and Orlando Hudson and a run-scoring wild pitch.

Gibbons added a sacrifice fly in the second for a 4-2 lead that Cassidy protected until the sixth when Charleston's Jeremy Freitas hit a double to score Merrell Ligons from first.

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