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Suns turn table, avoid sweep

April 25, 2003|by ANDREW MASON

andrewm@herald-mail.com

The Charleston RiverDogs are human after all.

The Hagerstown Suns were more than happy to point that out.

The Suns capitalized on four Charleston errors for six unearned runs on their way to a 9-5 win on Grandparents Night at Municipal Stadium Thursday.

The Suns (8-11), who committed four errors and gave up five unearned runs in an 8-7 loss to the RiverDogs (13-6) Wednesday, snapped a three-game losing streak and avoided the four-game sweep.

"It was the exact opposite of last night," said Suns manager Mike Ramsey. "We scuffled to get one out of this series and we got one."

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After blowing a 3-0 lead, the Suns matched the RiverDogs' five-run top of the third with five runs in their half off starter Jeff Ridgway (0-1) to take the lead for good, 8-5.

Charleston second baseman Ryan Riley's bases-loaded throwing error with one out allowed two runners to score to tie it 5-5 and put two in scoring position for Randy Walter, who delivered a two-run double to left center. Fred Lewis then plated Walter with an RBI single to center.

"It feels to good to get back rolling and get back in the swing of things," said Lewis, who led the Suns with three hits. "We didn't want to get swept. I hate losing. That would have been the worst thing."

Hagerstown reliever Josh Cram kept things from going from bad to worse, coming in for starter Glenn Woolard in the third and getting two quick outs to cease the RiverDogs' rally.

Cram (1-1) faced the minimum in 4 2/3 innings of work, allowing no runs, hits or walks while striking out three for the win.

"Cram came in and shut the door," said Ramsey. "That was the biggest job of the game."

The Suns rounded out the scoring in the sixth, as Fred Lewis tripled off the center-field wall and scored on catcher Shawn Riggans' errant pickoff attempt.

Kevin Alexander finished with two hits for the Suns, Jason Columbus, Kevin Kelly and Walter each scored twice, and Walter and Lewis each had two RBI.

Hagerstown took a 3-0 lead in the second inning. Jake Wald was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to bring in the first run. Lewis followed with an RBI infield single, which wound up scoring two on shortstop B.J. Upton's throwing error.

Scott Munter pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth to close shop for the Suns.

"We're starting to swing the bats some, and out pitching's been holding us there," said Ramsey. "We're going to continue to be patient at the plate."

Brent Cordell went 2-for-4 with an RBI double to pace the RiverDogs, while Wes Bankston had a two-run double and Riggans had a two-run single.




Go Suns!

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