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Suns lose twin bill Sunday

April 15, 2002|BY BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

If Hagerstown Suns read the papers, they would have been forewarned.

Manger Mike Ramsey was impressed with the Suns' style of play, but he admitted it wasn't perfect. "They feel like they can come back and win every game ... That's great, but there's going to be times that it won't work."

One, in fact two, of those times came on Sunday.

Hagerstown fell behind early and mounted comebacks late - the usual Suns M.O. - but this time it fell short in the final inning. The Suns fell 6-5 in the completion of Saturday's rain-delayed game and lost 4-2 in Sunday's regularly scheduled affair to Delmarva.

The losses ended the Suns' five-game winning streak and the season-opening homestand at 5-2. Hagerstown (6-5) lost in uncharacteristic fashion.

"In the first game, our defense let us down a little. We kicked the ball around some and they took advantage of it," Ramsey said. "In the second game, we didn't get enough clutch hits."

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Defense and clutch hitting had been two Suns' mainstays thus far. In the opener, Hagerstown committed five errors. In the nightcap, the Suns allowed runners to languish in scoring position.

But, even with all their sins and warts, the Suns had a chance to pull out each game in the final innings.

The Suns trailed 6-1 heading into the eighth inning of Game 1. But Tyler Von Schell blasted a two-run shot to left center in the eighth and Justin Knoedler followed suit with one of his own in the ninth to bring Hagerstown within a run of another fantastic finish.

Miguel Miranda and Bryan Carter followed with singles to put the tying and winning runs on first and third, but Derin McMains lined to short and Robbie Meyer flew to right to end the threat.

In the nightcap, starter Peterson Benjamin fell behind 4-1 in the first two innings, started as leadoff hitter Omar Rogers homered to open the game. The Suns got their run back on a McMains' sacrifice fly.

After a 43-minute rain delay, Benjamin, Benji Miller and Ryan Meaux held the Shorebirds in check the rest of the way to keep the Suns in the game.

Hagerstown threatened in the fifth and the seventh. Leonel Cabrera and Carter had one-out singles and McMains added a fielders' choice to score the Suns second run. But Meyer, who represented the tying run, struck out to end the game.

Suns Today: at Delmarva

Time: 6:35; Radio: WHAG 1410

Probable Starters:

Suns - Brian Burres (0-0, 7.00)

Delmarva - David Crouthers (0-2, 4.32)

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