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Suns perfectly happy with win

May 09, 2001

Suns perfectly happy with win



By CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent


Today

Hickory Crawdads


Mike Johnston (1-3, 3.69)

at Hagerstown Suns


Jeff Clark (4-1, 2.45)

Time: 7

Radio: WHAG 1410



After spoiling a perfect game in the fifth inning, the Hagerstown Suns generated what could be called a perfect rally.

Meanwhile, Wes Faust turned in an almost-perfect relief appearance as the Suns whipped Hickory, 4-1, in South Atlantic League play Tuesday night at Municipal Stadium, for its season-high fourth straight win.

Tomas Garrido started the only scoring threat of the game for Hagerstown (17-15) with a one-out single in the sixth, and moved to third on a Jason Ellison single. Bryan Carter walked to load the bases for the league's third-leading hitter, Deivi Santos, who walked to tie the score at 1-1.

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Trey Lunsford followed with a sacrifice fly to score Ellison, while Carter and Santos alertly tagged on the play. Derek Bell then delivered a scorching ground ball off the chest of Hickory second baseman Edwin Yan into shallow right field for a pair of RBI and a 4-1 lead.

"We had the right guys up at the right time," said Suns manager Bill Hayes. "We had Santos in there - he's our hottest hitter - and he was real patient and drew the walk to tie the score. Lunsford got the fly ball, and we did a good job running the bases. And Bell hits a rocket."

The rest of the game belonged to Faust (3-1), who relieved starter Boof Bonser in the sixth and didn't allow a base-runner until Chris Bass reached on a bad-hop single with two outs in the ninth. The Bass base hit broke a string of 18 consecutive batters retired between Bonser and Faust.

"I was working low in the zone, and letting the fielders make great plays behind me," said Faust. "(The Crawdads) have great team speed, but if you can force them to hit the ball on the ground, our defense will make the plays."

Ironically, leftfielder Nick Wilfong made perhaps the best defensive play of the night for the Suns with a sliding catch of a low Jose Hernandez line drive to open the eighth.

While Faust dominated in the late innings, Bonser pitched better than his stats might indicate, allowing Manny Ravelo to generate a run almost single-handedly in the first, but shutting the door on the Crawdads (13-19) - including six strikeouts - for his final four innings of work.

Ravelo doubled down the right field line to open the game, stole third, and scored on a Bonser wild pitch.

"Bonser made some good pitches when he had to," said Hayes. "He maxed-out early on his pitches. He threw 60 pitches in the first three innings. He didn't have his best stuff tonight, but he battled and did a good job."

Julio Guerrero (1-1) had the Suns baffled for the first five innings, limiting Hagerstown to just one hit - a Bell single in the fifth - before the wheels fell off in the sixth.

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