Trumble belts HR in Suns win

April 22, 2001

Trumble belts HR in Suns win


Dan Trumble gave himself a little jolt on Sunday.

It came as the first step to rewiring his much-needed bat.


The Hagerstown designated hitter blasted a three-run homer over the wall in dead center field to ignite the Suns five-run seventh inning leading to a 6-4 win over the Lakewood BlueClaws at Municipal Stadium.

Hagerstown sent nine batters to the plate in the inning, using two walks and a key sacrifice bunt by Bryan Carter to set the stage for the struggling Trumble. He entered the game batting .178 with 22 strikeouts in 14 games.


"I've been struggling to stay inside the ball," Trumble said. "When he got to the 3-1 count, I was looking for a fastball or something I could be aggressive with and he threw it right where I wanted it."

Trumble connected on the no-doubt drive, sending Lakewood starter Ryan Carter's pitch over the 400 mark on the 24-foot wall. It turned a precarious 1-0 lead into a 4-0 advantage and opened the floodgates.

"I have been chasing bad pitches and watching good pitches," Trumble said. "I've been aggressive in counts when I should be passive and passive in counts when I should be aggressive. I had my wires crossed. This isn't the answer but it is a piece of the puzzle. It's not complete yet."

Kevin Alexander chased Ryan Carter by drawing a walk. Hagerstown prolonged the inning as Jason Ellison doubled off reliever Andrew Elskamp, over BlueClaws centerfielder Jason Barnette's head to score Alexander and then crossed the plate on Bryan Gann's single for the six-run lead.

"If Trumble had his wires crossed, I'm going down to the hardware store and get some cutters to uncross them," Suns manager Bill Hayes said. "When he realizes that hitting isn't easy, not to make it harder and to go up there and be aggressive and swing on the right pitches he will be all right."

The outburst allowed the Suns to offset Lakewood's four-run eighth started by two leadoff walks off reliever Chris Jones and finished by a pair of home runs - a three-run shot by Juan Richardson and a solo shot by Carlos Ruiz - off Jeremy Cunningham. The Suns managed to hold on for their third straight win and a high water mark of three games over .500 at 10-7.

The Suns gave starter Jeremy Clark (4-0) all the support he needed with a run in the third on doubles by Mark Walker and Alexander. Walker went six shutout innings, allowing five hits with no walks and four strikeouts.

Two plays, nearly lost in a game filled with defensive gems by the Suns, had a huge bearing in the outcome were provided by Bryan Carter. The left fielder preserved the Suns 1-0 lead in the seventh when he made a sliding stop of a Greg Foster hit in the gap, keeping him to a single and runners at first and second instead of an RBI double. Wes Faust got Carlos Acevado to end the inning.

In the bottom of the seventh, Clark's two-strike sacrifice bunt helped set up the situation for Trumble's home run.

"We have a play where we try not to allow any doubles. We want to keep the double play in order," Clark said. " I know I'm not going to get two or three hits a game.

"I don't mind just helping on defense as long as we win."

His bunt meant a lot more to Trumble.

"It was definitely big," Trumble said. "I wouldn't have been in my situation without it."

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