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Suns shade GreenJackets on Sunday

June 11, 2000|By BOB PARASILITI

Brandon Jackson had one goal on Sunday.

The mission was to do whatever it took to get the Hagerstown Suns into the shade of the dugout. The heat of a 90-plus degree day has a way of dictating situations.

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So Jackson did his part to help the Suns beat the heat ... and the Augusta GreenJackets. The Hagerstown shortstop circled the bases with a key RBI triple before scoring what proved to be the winning run in the fifth inning and took part in turning five double plays to lead the Suns to a 5-3 victory at Municipal Stadium.

"You mind if I sit down?" Jackson asked as he dragged himself back to the team clubhouse. "This was the first real hot day we've had this season. It was great because there were a lot of ground balls today, so to get two easy outs on one play was a great way to get us back into the dugout."

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And turn the heat on Augusta, which remains in a dogfight for the South Atlantic League Southern Division's first-half title. The Suns put a crimp in the GreenJackets' plans by baking Augusta pitching on the hot day.

It started with the slick defense which recorded double plays in the second and fifth through eighth innings to benefit starter Travis Hubbel (6-4).

"That's a great job by the infield," said Hubbel, who ended the Suns' three-game losing streak. "You try to make the pitches that will end up in ground balls. The big key for me was I was getting ahead in the count."

Hubbel pitched seven innings, allowing three runs on nine hits while striking out two, before leaving the game with a welt below his ankle caused by a liner hit by Luis Garcia in the sixth.

"Hubbel did a good job for us today," Pino said. "He had a good moving fastball, but had some trouble with his breaking pitch. He kept us in the game and made the big pitches when we needed them."

The Suns (30-34) broke a 2-2 tie in the fifth when Jaime Goudie led off with a double to the wall in center field. Jackson followed, with the wind blowing out, with a shot to the gap in right center field off starter Eric Glaser (2-5) to score Goudie. He showed little hesitation as he rounded second and went into a head-first slide into third with a triple.

"I actually pulled up for the double but when I saw a misplay in the outfield, I decided to go for third. And on a day like this, I was running out of gas when I was rounding second."

The bold move to take the extra base set up Chris Weekly's one-out single over the drawn-in infield for the 4-2 lead.

"(Jackson) not only moved the runner, but got into scoring position," Pino said. "That was a big two-strike hit. He got the RBI like you're supposed to do."

The Suns took a 2-0 lead in the second on Ryan Bundy's two-run homer. Augusta countered with single runs in the third on a RBI groundout by Jon Anderson and in the fourth when Carlos Rodriguez scored on a wild pitch to tie the game at 2-2.

Augusta pulled to within 4-3 in the seventh when Les Dennis led off with a triple and scored on the fourth of Hagerstown's five double plays. The Suns picked up an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh when Goudie singled and eventually scored on Shannon Carter's hit.

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