Suns power up after blown fuse

May 10, 2000|By BOB PARASILITI

Saves have been as rare as winning Big Game tickets for the Hagerstown Suns.

So excuse them for drawing from an unconventional source on Wednesday. Enter Chris Weekly. Yes, that's right. Designated hitter Chris Weekly.

cont. from sports page

Weekly came in from the bullpen to blast his second two-run homer run of the game - this one down the right field line to complete a three-run ninth after a third consecutive blown save - to lift the Suns to a dramatic 10-8 victory over the Piedmont Boll Weevils at Municipal Stadium.

"I never thought I was going to be in the position to do it," Weekly said after finishing with three hits and four RBI. "I was out in the bullpen warming up pitchers between my at-bats."


By all rights, Weekly probably should have never came in for the offensive save.

The Suns (16-16) had a 7-5 lead heading into the ninth until the Boll Weevils rocked closer Peyton Lewis for three runs in one-third of an inning to take an 8-5 lead. It was the third straight game that the Suns' bullpen blew a lead in the ninth.

Piedmont (23-10) turned to Chris Keelin, who was just added to the Boll Weevils' roster before the game. Reed Johnson worked the reliever for a walk and took second on Josh Holliday's sacrifice bunt. Robert Cosby followed by launching a flair into left field for the game-tying single.

Weekly followed with a shot the fought against the brisk wind that was blowing to from left to right field to just curl inside the fair pole for the winning shot and later a shaving cream pie in the face while doing a television interview.

"I hit that one a little better," Weekly said. "The first one, I just got up in the air a little and it went out. The second one, I got into it. It was a 2-0 pitch and I sat on it."

It was a fitting payback to the Boll Weevils, who used the strong right-field wind to cash in on three home runs in the first three innings off starter Brian Cardwell for a 5-4 lead. Marlon Byrd hit a three-run shot in the first followed by solo homers by Russell Jacobson in the second and Nate Espy in the third.

The Suns got their runs in less spectacular fashion off starter Matire Franco. Holliday had a two-run single in the first and Shannon Carter and Brandon Jackson drove in runs in the second as Franco had trouble finding the strike zone.

Weekly gave the Suns a 6-5 lead in with his first homer in the fifth.

Piedmont tied the game in the ninth on a two-run single by James Sitzman. Shomari Beverly followed with a drive to right center that Auntwan Riggins caught and dropped as he ran into the wall for a double. Rob Hamann came on to stop the rally and earn the win.

"We've played well for the last week, but have taken so many tough losses," Weekly said. "This one finally went our way."


Piedmont Boll Weevils

Brett Myers (3-1, 3.48)

at Hagerstown Suns

Marcos Sandoval (3-0, 1.62)

  • Promotion: Reduced-price beverage night
  • Time: 7
  • Radio: WHAG 1410
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