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Suns beat Shorebirds in ninth

May 25, 2003

SALISBURY, Md. - The lights went out on the Delmarva Shorebirds twice in one inning on Saturday.

Fred Lewis scored on what was announced as a balk after the game to give the Hagerstown Suns the go-ahead run and a 7-6 win over the Shorebirds.

Scott Rice's balk came after the teams sat through a 20-minute delay because a bank of lights went dark in the right field area at Perdue Stadium.

The win lifted the Suns (24-22) to two games over .500 and moved them closer to second-place Delmarva in the South Atlantic League Northern Division standings. The game started a crucial 22-game stretch for the Suns, including 16 games against Delmarva and Lake County, the top two teams in the division.

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The Suns jumped out to a 5-0 lead and held on at 6-4 until the Shorebirds tied the game in the seventh on a two-run throwing error by Aaron Hornostaj.

Hagerstown made its bid for the lead in the ninth as Lewis led off the inning by drawing a walk. After Karl Jernigan struck out, the stadium went dark.

When the game resumed, Lewis tried to steal second with Derin McMains at the plate. The pitch was in the dirt and got away from catcher Ryan Huble, allowing Lewis to take third.

On a 1-2 pitch, McMains apparently took a swing at the third strike and the ball once again got a way from Huble, allowing Lewis to score. After the game, the play was changed from being a passed ball to a balk on Rice.

Matt Palmer recorded his eighth save to give the win to Josh Habel. Palmer walked Brian Bass and allowed Tommy Joyce to single to right, but right fielder Randy Walter gunned Bass out at third to stem the threat.

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