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Suns live, learn the hard way

May 16, 2001

Suns live, learn the hard way



By CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent


Today

Lexington Legends


Nick Roberts (2-1, 2.70)

at Hagerstown Suns


Kyle Gross (1-3, 2.83)

Promotion: Businessperson's Special

Time: 1

Radio: WHAG 1410



The best Bill Hayes could do was chalk it up to a learning experience.

A series of bizarre plays and a string of Lexington extra base hits taught the Hagerstown Suns that they can't afford to give a good team too many chances.

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continued

Despite scratching and clawing for eight innings to stay within striking distance, the Suns finally succumbed to a three-run, four-hit Legends ninth in a 7-5 South Atlantic League loss Tuesday night.

"A lot of things happened that we can learn from," said Hayes, the Suns' manager. "That's the way kids learn. Maybe we were a little unsure of what to do at times tonight, but tomorrow we'll be better."

Lexington (25-14) broke open a close game with three runs in the ninth off Joe Smith (3-1) when Mickey McKee led off with a triple that bounced over the head of rightfielder Bryan Carter, who slipped trying to make a play on the ball. A sacrifice fly and two-run double brought the runs home.

The Suns (20-19) battled back for two runs in the bottom of the inning on back-to-back doubles from Kevin Alexander and Derek Bell, and a Deivi Santos RBI single, but the rally stalled.

The Suns missed an opportunity to take the early lead in the first when Jason Ellison opened with a walk, and moved the second on a Robert Stiehl balk. With one out, Bell's sharp ground ball to the shortstop side of second base hit Ellison's leg for the second out of the inning and ended the threat.

Down 2-0, another bizarre play worked in Hagerstown's favor in the bottom of the second. Nick Wilfong walked and James Lunsford singled. After Carter fanned, Dan Trumble grounded to short, but Felix Escalona's toss to second to start a possible double play forced Toven to look into the sun as the ball trickled into right field allowing Wilfong to score and moving Lunsford to third. Tomas Garrido followed with a ground ball to short to score Lunsford with the tying run.

Lexington made it 3-2 in the sixth on an Escalona triple and a Lunsford passed ball, but the Suns tied it again in the seventh when Alexander reached on a fielder's choice, went to second on a John Buck passed ball, and scored on a Toven error on a tough play up the middle.

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