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Suns win season-ending game

September 04, 2000

Suns win season-ending game



By BOB PARASILITI / Staff Writer


All Alvin Morrow wanted to do was wipe the smile off of Eji Miyamoto's face.

With one swing, not only changed Miyamoto's disposition, Morrow changed the complexion of the game while putting a grin on his face, the face of his mother, fans and teammates.

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Morrow's "excuse me" home run to right in the fourth inning stood up behind the combined six-hit effort of pitchers Tyler Houston and Josh Stevens Sunday as the Hagerstown Suns closed the 2000 season with a 1-0 victory over the Cape Fear Crocs at Municipal Stadium.

The victory allowed the Suns to finish the second half with a 29-38 record, good for fifth place in the Northern Division, and 63-74 record overall, well out of the playoff hunt. The final day crowd of 1,478 allowed Hagerstown with a draw of 102,443 fans for the 20th anniversary season.

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But it was Morrow's one swing that made everyone's day, most of all his own. The big left fielder has been struggling with a wrist injury and has lost more than 100 points from his batting average in the last three weeks. In fact, he was 1-for-4 on Sunday, with the homer and three strikeouts.

"I'm happy," Morrow said. "My mom was here and I told her I was going to hit one for her, so I did."

It wasn't a blast which will go down in classic annals though. Morrow reached across the plate and flicked his wrists at a Miyamoto curveball and lofted it into the prevailing gusty wind to right field. The fly got caught in the jetstream, hit off the top of the right field wall and fell over for the homer.

"His first pitch was a curveball that I stood and watched for a strike," Morrow said. "When I did that, he just stood there and smiled at me. Then, when he threw that curve to me again, I reached out and hit it. I didn't hit it good, but it went out. The smile turned into a smirk. He got what he had coming to him."

The one swing made up for a lot of everyday sins for the Suns. Once again, Hagerstown failed to get the big hits to drive in runs, but had just enough to win behind Morrow and Houston.

"(Morrow) didn't swing that well at the ball but he muscled it out," Suns manager Rolando Pino said. "We'll take it anyway we can. It was an outstanding job by Houston. The first two innings, his pitches were up in the zone but then he settled down. We wanted to let him go, but he got tired and hit his pitch count."

Houston (5-1) allowed only three hits and benefited from three double plays for the victory. Stevens pitched an outstanding eighth and escaped with two runners on in the ninth to record the save.

Hagerstown had just three hits in the game, with Morrow's coming as the biggest.

"A home run is a home run," Morrow said. "All we needed was one run to get us out of here and send us home."

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