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Hickory puts end to Suns streak

August 09, 2000

Hickory puts end to Suns streak



By BOB PARASILITI / Staff Writer


Hagerstown manager Rolando Pino has preached long and hard on how the little things prevent the Suns from winning games.

Need proof? The littlest thing of all put an end to Hagerstown's six-game winning streak.

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Forget Hickory's three home runs. Ignore the Crawdads' four-run eighth inning. The air went out of Hagerstown's balloon when Jimmy Alvarez failed to lay down a sacrifice bunt in the seventh inning Wednesday in what became a 7-1 loss.

"Not getting the bunt down ... to me that's the turning point of the game," Suns manager Rolando Pino said. "Those were three terrible attempts. We executed yesterday and today we didn't."

Hagerstown (20-25, 54-61) slowly watched its longest winning streak of the season slip away while following another path of futility. In five of the first seven innings, the Suns had runners in scoring position, including two bases-loaded situations.

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Four times they had a runner on second base with less than two outs.

It all shook out to one measly run in the first inning when Alvarez scored on Shawn Fagan's single. After that, Hickory starter Landon Jacobson escaped tight spot after tight spot.

"You have to give their pitcher credit. We had him on the ropes and he kept getting out of it," Pino said. "We lost the game because we couldn't get the clutch hits. We've had a long streak going, but things like this are going to happen from day to day."

Hickory (24-22, 60-57) took a 3-1 lead on Marcos Sandoval behind solo homers from Jovanny Sosa in the second and J.R. House in the sixth.

Hagerstown blew huge chances to come back when Kurt Keene struck out with the bases loaded in the sixth and when Alvarez couldn't deliver his bunt in the seventh.

With runners on first and second, Alvarez squared and failed on three feeble attempts - the first bouncing off the front of the pressbox with the other two weakly outside the baselines - against reliever Mike Johnston for a three-pitch strikeout.

"We get the bunt down and we have Jackson, our hottest hitter with a 19-game hit streak, coming up," Pino said. "He hits a sacrifice fly and we are down only 3-2. That's a different game."

Hickory used Jay Langston's three-run homer off Marc Bluma to cap the four-run eighth.

Jackson went 2-for-4 - both singles - to extend his hitting streak to 19 games.

Today

  • Hickory Crawdads
  • Justin Reid (7-6, 3.52)

    at Hagerstown Suns

  • Ryan Houston (1-0, 1.80)
  • Promotion: Reduced-price beverages throughout the park
  • Time: 7
  • Radio: WHAG 1410
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