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Walkersville blanks South

May 07, 2001

Walkersville blanks South

No. 3 Walkersville 4, S. Hagerstown 0


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S. Hagerstown0000000-023

Klinger and J. Paterson; Higgs and Rhea. WP - Klinger. LP - Higgs. HR - W: Seyler (7th, none on).



Thomas Wolfe wrote you can never go home. Jon Kessick penned the sequel on Friday.

Delmarva's catcher stood his ground, tagging out three potential Hagerstown Suns runs at the plate - including the winning run in the ninth and the tying run in the 10th - and drove in the Shorebirds' final two runs in a 5-4 extra-inning victory.

The Shorebirds squandered the lead but came back with Matt Riordan's RBI single in the 10th off Wes Faust to pull out the win and end a three-game losing streak despite some encouraging signs from a Suns offense which has struggled all season.

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"We lost, but we battled back to force extra innings and got some big hits," Suns manager Bill Hayes said. "It was very encouraging because we had our backs against the wall and come out with the big hits. Their catcher just did a good job three times."

Encouragement and winning are two different things, though.

Hagerstown battled back from a 4-1 deficit in the final two innings, using Deivi Santos' two-strikes, two-out double with the bases-loaded off Thomas Ford (2-0) in the ninth to knot the game at 4-4, but Bryan Carter was out at the plate, trying to bowl over Kessick.

"We had the game tied there ... they just executed," Hayes said. "The ball bounced off the wall right to the right fielder, who turned and hit the cutoff and they got the ball to the plate."

Hagerstown (13-15) fell behind 4-1 as starter Jeff Clark gave up three runs in the fourth, highlighted by Alfredo Leon's two-run double, and a solo homer to Kessick in the sixth.

The Suns got back into the game against Delmarva's bullpen, loading the bases in the eighth and ninth inning. In the eighth, Jason Ellison laid down a one-out bunt and took second on an Eddy Rodriguez wild pitch before scoring on Santos' single.

Rodriguez was lifted for Delmarva closer Jayme Sperring, who walked Trey Lunsford and Nick Wilfong to load the bases before getting Dan Trumble to fly out to end the threat.

Hagerstown pulled even in the ninth with a two-out rally, ignited when Bryan Gann reached as first baseman Leon dropped a throw. Sperring left after giving up a single to Ellison and Ford came on an hit Carter with a pitch to load the bases.

Santos drilled Ford's fastball to the wall, scoring the tying runs and starting the chain reaction which allowed Kessick to make his second game-saving tag.

"Santos was down to his last strike," Hayes said. "He stayed back on a couple of balls that were on his hands and then got a pitch over the plate to hit."

Rick Elder led off the 10th with a double off Faust (2-1) and scored on Kessick's single to right.

The Suns came back as Lunsford singled and took second on Wilfong's sacrifice bunt. Derek Bell followed with a single up the middle that center fielder B.J. Littleton picked up and fired home. Lunsford slid to the inside of the plate, trying to avoid a swipe tag by Kessick, but was called out by home plate umpire Josh Miller in a controversial play at the plate.

Bell advanced to second on the throw, but was left stranded when Trumble flew out weakly to left to end the game.

Kessick held on to the ball in the second, enduring another flying tackle by Wilfong to end a Suns rally. Hagerstown took a 1-0 lead off starter Elvis Montilla when Lunsford scored on a Bell single. Kevin Alexander followed by grounding to short for a forceout which followed with a throw to the plate and the first of the collisions.

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