Stealing the Show

April 26, 2000|By BOB PARASILITI

Stealing the Show: Suns swipe six bases and get big hits vs. Gnats

The Hagerstown Suns found the correct way to exterminate a Sand Gnat. First you chase them down, then you swat them.

cont. from sports page

The Suns put their base running on display with six stolen bases and followed up with clutch hitting by the heart of the batting order drove in all the runs Thursday in Hagerstown's 8-4 victory over the Savannah Sand Gnats at Municipal Stadium.

The Suns scored in Noah's Ark fashion - in pairs in four different innings - as the foot speed of Shannon Carter, Auntwan Riggins and Brandon Jackson turned into six steals and got them into position for the third through six hitters in the lineup to cash in.


"We jumped on their starting pitcher early and got some clutch hits," Suns manager Rolando Pino said. "We got three stolen bases from Carter and two from Riggins and they started it off for us."

Chris Weekly drove in three runs with a single in the first and a two-run double in the seventh which capped the scoring. Aaron Fera hit a two-run single to left in the third to plate what proved to be the winning runs for starter Aaron Dean (3-0).

Hagerstown (11-8) successfully stole six bases in seven tries, which directly led to three runs, including both in the first inning.

"The running and hitting works hand in hand," Pino said. "Riggins and Carter were moving on the starting pitcher (Jovanny Cedeno), who had some slow times to the plate and they had some good jumps. It makes it easier for the hitters when they only need a single to drive in runs."

Carter and Jackson drew leadoff walks in the first and moved up by combining for three steals. Robert Cosby brought home the first run on a sacrifice fly and Weekly singled to left for the only hit of the inning for the 2-0 lead.

"We came out excited today," Weekly said. "I don't know why. I guess the long bus ride last night hasn't caught up with us yet. We have a lot of good players on this team and they are all doing their jobs whenever they get in the lineup."

Dean didn't show the sharpness he possessed in his previous starts as he allowed three runs in the third to fall behind. Singles by Hank Blalock and Cody Nowlin around a sacrifice fly by Jason Jones gave the Sand Gnats a 3-2 lead.

Fera gave the Suns the lead back with his single following Cosby's single and Kevin Cash's double. Hagerstown made it 6-3 in the fourth on a Jackson sacrifice fly and a Cash single.

"We have a lot of hot hitters right now," Weekly said. "It seems those guys get on and those guys in the No. 3 and 4 holes get the job done for us. It seems like no matter what (Pino) does works."


Savannah Sand Gnats

Frankie McGill (1-2, 10.91)

at Hagerstown Suns

Travis Hubbel (2-1, 4.32)

Promotion: Reduced-price beverages throughout the park

Time: 7

Radio: WHAG 1410

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