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Tourists top Suns on Sunday

July 16, 2000

Tourists top Suns on Sunday



By BOB PARASILITI / Staff Writer


The Hagerstown Suns seem to have lost the definition of offense.

There are two different terms for offensive players - batters and hitters. A batter is either one who carries a bat or the mixture for hotcakes. A hitter is one who uses the bat the strike the ball.

The Suns have been more of the former than the latter.

Hagerstown posed with their bats again as the offense turned flatter than pancakes in a 4-2 loss to Asheville on Sunday at Municipal Stadium.

Suns' batters struck out 15 times, including 10 in the last five innings, as Hagerstown lost its fourth straight on the heels of a six-game winning streak. The Suns (10-12, 44-48) have three runs on 15 hits in the first three games with the Tourists, including 13 singles.

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"We're not bunching our hits together," said Suns acting manager Ken Landreaux. "We don't have any real power hitters on this team. I don't know what to tell you is happening. I just know when I played, I wanted to hit the first fastball I saw."

The Suns seemed content to standing around and waiting for something better. They never found it.

Asheville starter Chen-hui Tsao got all four runs of support in the first three innings and survived a shaky fourth inning to leave with the lead. He had five strikeouts in his stint while four Tourists relievers all but shackled the Suns' bats into the cocked-and-ready position the rest of the way.

"A lot of these kids aren't used to playing a 142-game scheduled," said Landreaux, who is in the second day of managing the Suns while Rolando Pino serves a five-game suspension. "They could be tired, but I don't know ... you'd have to ask them."

Asheville (17-7, 51-42) took advantage when the Suns failed to turn a double play on Greg Catalanotte's grounder in the second. Jim Rinne followed the botched opportunity with a home run to right center field off starter Cameron Reimers (3-8) for an early 2-0 lead.

The Tourists jumped ahead 4-0 in the third on RBI singles by Jeff Winchester and Catalanotte.

Hagerstown got on the board against Tsao in the fourth when Robert Cosby beat out a one-out infield single and scored on Shawn Pearson's two-out triple, Hagerstown's only extra-base hit in the game.

The Suns picked up their other run in the eighth while blowing a golden opportunity. Reed Johnson walked and came around on singles by Chris Weekly and Kevin Keene.

With the tying runs on with no outs, Shannon Carter was called on to lay down a sacrifice bunt, but failed in two tries and then struck out on a 3-2 pitch from Jesse Labitzke with the runners moving, resulting in a double play.

"We aren't getting anything in situations," Landreaux said. "We didn't get the bunt down and we started the runners to make things happen and he swings through the pitch. That really hurt."

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