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Suns fall as Bats score five in 7th

June 21, 2002|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

The Hagerstown Suns started the South Atlantic League's second half as a team without a true definition.

They were not as good as they hoped but not as bad as it looked.

That was about the best, noncommittal way to put Thursday's 12-8 loss to the Greensboro Bats. Hagerstown came back to tie the game at 5-5 after five innings until Greensboro's five-run seventh, highlighted by Juan Camacho's three-run homer, sent the Suns scrambling.

"It was a good game because we erased a lead and swung the bats pretty well," Suns manager Mike Ramsey said. "But we didn't shut them down after we got the lead. We didn't throw as bad as the numbers looked. They got a couple of bloops and broken bat hits ... then the big one was the home run."

Hagerstown starter Francisco Liriano gave back a 4-3 lead and left after five innings with the game tied at 5-5. The Suns bullpen suffered through a slow, painful death during the Bats' 15-hit attack.

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Greensboro (1-0, 37-33) manufactured the go-ahead run off reliever David Hixson as Kaazim Summerville singled and eventually scored on Robinson Cano's single. Hixson (0-1) allowed a walk before getting the second out and leaving the game.

"We are trying to be careful with Hixson because he's coming off arm trouble. We are trying to keep him to 25 pitches," Ramsey said. "After he got the last out, he was at 27 and I decided to go with the best guy for in this situation, but it didn't work to our favor."

Bronson Sardinha greeted Gregg with an RBI bloop single before Camacho's homer made it a 10-5 game.

The Suns (0-1, 34-37) fell behind 12-5 before Bryan Carter hit an RBI double in the eighth and Julian Benavidez capped his five RBI night with a two-run home run in the ninth. In fact, the Suns had two runners on and the tying run on deck before Wes Cooksey came on to close the game.

The Suns battled back from a 3-0 deficit with a four-run third inning. Julian Benavidez hit a three-run double to stake Liriano to a 4-3 lead. But Liriano allowed a two-run double to Dioner Navarro in the fourth and Tyler Von Schell had a RBI double in the fifth to tie the game at 5-5.

"You can't give up 12 runs and expect to win," Ramsey said. "We got some pitches up and they hit our mistakes. We are not executing good pitches and you can't do that against a good-hitting team."

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