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Suns stutter, sputter in loss

April 22, 2003|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

The Hagerstown Suns had trouble with some big words on Monday.

They were advantage, opportunity and fundamentals.

Charleston had a little more success putting The Big Three into a winning vocabulary as the Riverdogs cashed in nearly every chance to notch a 6-3 win.

The Suns had four prime scoring opportunities but were only able to take advantage of two of them. Meanwhile, the by-the-book plays that good defense is built on lacked the polish needed to stay in the game.

"We didn't play well fundamentally tonight," Hagerstown manager Mike Ramsey said. "They just took advantage of the things we gave them. I thought we would play better fundamentally, especially with all the time we spent on them at spring training. It's just a game we have to live with and move on."

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The incidents in the fifth and eighth innings cost the Suns (7-9) dearly.

Trailing 2-0 in the fifth, Charleston (11-5) had runners on first and third with two outs. Jason Pridie broke from first on a steal with the throw going through from catcher Brian Munhall.

But shortstop Jake Wald and second baseman Aaron Hornostaj got tangled up trying to make the play, allowing Ryan Riley to steal home.

In the eighth, Charleston turned two infield grounders and a bloop single into a bases-loaded situation. With two out, Shawn Riggans hit a high drive to right center that Randy Walter and Kevin Alexander seemed to have a bead on, but allowed it to drop between them at the fence for a bases-clearing double and a 6-2 Riverdogs' lead.

"There were a couple plays, like the delayed steal with Wald and Hornostaj got tangled up. It was a miscommunication," Ramsey said. "Then Travis Ishikawa didn't come off the bag for that one grounder in the eighth. Then the flyball with two outs I thought it was going to be caught and it ended up being a big play that turned it from 3-2 to 6-2."

Suns starter Jose Serrato (0-1), starting in place of the injured Daniel Portorreal, pitched well in his four innings, striking out eight. But Pridie led off the game with a home run and Vince Harrison added an RBI single in the second.

After failing to score with the bases-loaded in the second, Jake Wald came through with a two-run double with the bags full in the fifth to get the Suns on the board to cut the deficit to 3-2. Hagerstown failed to do any more damage with one out.

The Suns other run came in the eighth as Kevin Kelly doubled for his third hit of the game and came around to score on singles by Jason Columbus and Carlos Sosa.

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