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Walker, Von Schell lead Suns to 12-2 win

May 21, 2002|BY BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

When it comes to hitting, Mark Walker is becoming possessive.

It's two pitches for the pitcher, one for Walker. One more for the pitcher, another for the Hagerstown Suns center fielder.

Walker invoked ownership of a Carlos Silverio fastball and deposited it for a grand slam Monday to cap a five-run fourth inning and a 3-for-4, six RBI night to provide half the muscle in Hagerstown's 12-2 victory over Lakewood.

"I've been trying to hit good pitches," Walker said. "I had been swinging at pitcher's pitches, now I'm trying to wait for my pitch. I was looking for a fastball and he threw on away ... I don't think that's where he wanted it."

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Tyler Von Schell added three hits, including a two-run home run in the first, and four RBI as he continued to awake from a three-week long slump. All totaled, it amounted to a rough homecoming for Lakewood starter Gavin Floyd, Philadelphia's first-round pick from 2001 who attended Mount St. Joseph's, near Baltimore.

"Everyone had a good day," Von Schell said. "We had been going out there and trying to do too much. Everyone was trying to get three hits every night. We knew he was a good pitcher and we tried to stay on him."

The Suns (20-25) chased Floyd after 3 1/3 innings with six runs in and two runners on after Von Schell served one of his nasty curveballs into right field for an RBI.

Von Schell blew the game open, but Walker turned it into a jailbreak.

Silverio issued a walk to Robbie Meyer after getting the second out of the fourth. Walker followed by clubbing the fastball over the right center field fence for Hagerstown's second grand slam of the season and a 10-1 lead.

"I have been struggling early in the season, but it's early," Walker said. "I have a lot of time to turn things around. I'm feeling a lot more comfortable at the plate."

The nine-run cushion was more than enough for starter Julio Pavon (1-3), who mastered the BlueClaws for seven innings on four hits while striking out three on just 76 pitches.

"Pavon is throwing well right now and seems to have it locked in," Suns manager Mike Ramsey said. "He has been very tough and has shown he can be a capable starter on this level."

Lakewood scored off Pavon in the first three hitters.

The Suns answered with three in the first, capped by Von Schell's eighth homer and an RBI single by Walker.

Meyer singled and Walker doubled home runs in the third for a 5-1 lead before the grand slam put it out of reach.

Von Schell drove in a run in the fifth and Julio Cordido homered in the ninth to finish the rout.

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