Suns throw scare into Intimidators

August 26, 2002|by BOB PARASILITI

If this were the Old West, they'd say the Hagerstown Suns went down proudly.

They died with their boots on.

The Suns had everything in place for a dramatic comeback against an old friend Sunday, but the Kannapolis Intimidators managed to hold on for a 4-3 win.

Hagerstown did all its scoring in the final two innings - after Kannapolis starter Ryan Wing left the game - and pulled within a run of tying when Derin McMains touched former Suns' closer Ryan Meaux with a two-run double in the left field gap.

With the tying run on second, it allowed Branden Florence, Hagerstown's top hitter of the season - to take one swing at tying the game. But Meaux won out in the end, getting Florence to ground out to short to end the game.


"We got two in the ninth and didn't die," Suns manager Mike Ramsey said. "We got the big hit from McMains and got the hitter we wanted in that situation up. We battled and had our chances."

The Suns had many chances in the middle innings to get to Wing, but came up empty. Hagerstown had two runners in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, but couldn't get the clutch hit. In the seventh, Hagerstown's threat of first and third with one out ended with Scoop McDowell's double play grounder.

"It was one of those things," Ramsey said. "If we could have got one more hit in the middle innings, it would have made a difference."

Wing, one of the top starters in the South Atlantic League at 12-6 and a 3.45 ERA, baffled Hagerstown's hitters through the first four innings and outlasted them in his final three to finish with eight strikeouts.

"(Wing) did a good job," Ramsey said. "He mixed things up and kept us off-balanced. He won't light up the gun, but he's a pitcher."

Suns' starter Brion Treadway (5-4) pitched well, striking out 10 in five innings, but was victimized by two free passes and one bad pitch.

Treadway led off the second by hitting Eric Storey with a pitch just before Julio Reyes blasted a two-run home run to right field for a 2-0 lead. The Intimidators added a run in the fifth as John Santamarina walked and came around on singles by Chris Amador and Mike Spidale for a 3-0 lead.

Florence hit a RBI double off Julio Castro in the eighth to put the Suns on the board. The Intimidators got the insurance run in the ninth for Wing and Meaux on Daniel Barnett's RBI triple.

The game was delayed for 20 minutes in the fourth inning when home plate umpire John Coons suffered a broken arm from being hit by a foul tip off the bat of Derek Wigginton. He was taken to the hospital by ambulance, forcing base umpire John Merry to come behind the plate while grounds crew chief Mike Showe called the bases until local umpire John McAllister could arrive.

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