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Hickory plays games with Suns in return home

June 14, 2002|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

The Hickory Crawdads made the Hagerstown Suns feel like the last choice in a playground game of keep away.

The Crawdads played their own game on Thursday and didn't allow the Suns to join in or control the ball.

It let Hickory keep pace in the chase for the first-half title in the South Atlantic League's Northern Division by setting the table and clearing it off for an 11-3 victory that dropped the Suns below the .500 mark again.

"They played their game tonight," Hagerstown manager Mike Ramsey said. "They got the guys on the top of the order on base in front of the guys in the middle who drive in the runs. We didn't have any answers tonight."

The top three Crawdads hitters scored six times, while No. 3 hitter Ryan Doumit hit two home runs - including a fifth-inning grand slam - and a sacrifice fly for six RBI.

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Pitcher Julio Pavon, who was pressed into the start after Kyle Gross was placed on the disabled list before the game, was racked for seven runs. Only four were earned because of three Suns errors - two by Pavon himself.

Doumit's grand slam was the only hit in the fifth and gave Hickory a 7-0 lead.

Hagerstown (33-34) scratched back in the sixth on Branden Florence's three-run homer. Carter opened the rally with a two-out triple to left and Derin McMains walked.

Hickory, which remains tied with Lexington atop the North standings with three games remaining, knocked the Suns out with a four-run seventh against Dan Padgett, keyed by Young's double.

"It was 7-0 and when we got it to 7-3, we weren't making them sweat, but we thought we were in the ballpark," Ramsey said. "Those four runs were a big difference."

-- The Suns have made a number of moves to get ready for the second half of the season.

McMains was reactivated after seven weeks on the disabled list when Julio Cordido was promoted to San Jose. Gross went to the DL to activate Lieby Guzman.

Hagerstown will make three moves today, sending catcher Anthony Turco along with pitchers Josh Cram and Anthony Yacco to short-season Salem-Keizer. In return, the Suns will receive pitchers Todd Uzell and David Hixon and catcher Francisco D'Jesus.

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