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Suns sit pretty after close win

August 07, 2002|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

As wins go, the Hagerstown Suns' victory over Columbus wouldn't be considered gorgeous.

It was a grind-it-out battle to outlast the RedStixx's speed merchants. In fact, the Suns need an inning of beauty from Padgett to pull it out.

Daniel Padgett escaped unscathed with runners at first and third base with none out in the eighth inning to protect a one-run lead and a decision for Ryan Hannaman in the Suns' 5-3 win on Tuesday before a crowd of 3,521 fans at Municipal Stadium.

"We escaped with that one," Suns manager Mike Ramsey said. "That was a great job by Padgett. It didn't look so good for awhile there. But Padgett getting out of that situation was the big thing tonight."

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Padgett was called to set up the win for Hannaman, who allowed 10 hits but overmatched Columbus with 10 strikeouts in six innings. Hannaman, who has 44 strikeouts in his last 28 innings, exited with a 4-2 lead despite allowing two unearned runs. Five of Columbus' 10 hits off Hannaman were of the infield variety.

"Hannaman was great," Ramsey said. "If he could have fielded his position a little bit better, he would have only given up five or six hits. But he had good velocity and his breaking ball was tight tonight."

Padgett allowed Columbus to get within 4-3 in the seventh as the RedStixx manufactured a run on a walk to Ivan Ochoa, who took second on J.J. Sherrill's sacrifice bunt and scored on Dennis Malave's RBI single.

The RedStixx pushed the issue in the eighth when Jason Cooper singled to right and took second on right fielder Robbie Meyer's error. Matt Knox followed with a sacrifice bunt attempt that catcher Keith Anderson threw to third for a play, but Cooper was called safe.

Padgett shut down the RedStixx by getting Jesus Colmenter to fly to right and Miguel Quintana to foul to third before Columbus tried an ill-fated double steal that got Cooper in a rundown to end the inning.

Kevin Alexander led off the eighth with double off Columbus starter Jake Dittler and scored the insurance run on Tyler Von Schell's two-out, run-scoring single, his third hit and second RBI of the night.

The teams traded runs in the first three innings with the Suns grabbing the 4-2 lead. Branden Florence clubbed an RBI triple in the first and Miguel Maranda duplicated the feat with one of his own in the second before scoring on a Dittler wild pitch for the 3-2 lead.

Two Suns errors led to single runs for Columbus in the first two innings. The RedStixx finished with 13 hits, all singles.

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