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Suns suffer road defeat

June 30, 2002

LAKEWOOD, N.J. - Just when the Hagerstown Suns thought this week couldn't get any worse, they were proved wrong.

Todd Uzzell pitched a perfect game through 5 2/3 innings and the Suns built a 5-0 lead, then gave it all away in gut-wrenching fashion as the Lakewood BlueClaws rallied for an 8-5 victory Saturday.

Tyler Von Schell's two-run double in the first gave Hagerstown (35-45, 1-9 second half) a 2-0 lead. The Suns increased the lead to 5-0 in the sixth on a bases-loaded walk, wild pitch and sacrifice fly.

Uzzell's perfect game ended on Chris Bennett's solo homer in the bottom of the sixth, making it 5-1.

Then the wheels fell off in the seventh.

With two outs, Lakewood (40-39, 7-3) loaded the bases to end Uzzell's night. David Hixson came on and struck out Vince Vukovich on a wild pitch, allowing a run to score and Vukovich to reach base.

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Kris Bennett then popped up to shallow right field, where Suns second baseman Derin McMains and right fielder Bryan Carter collided, allowing the ball to drop in for a three-run triple, tying the game. As the play continued, Carter's throw home took a bad hop into the stands, allowing Bennett to come all the way around to score for a 6-5 lead.

Ryan Howard's two-run homer in the eighth gave the BlueClaws insurance and sent the Suns to another heartbreaking loss.

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