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Sosa comes to life to give Suns victory

June 03, 2003|By BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

Carlos Sosa is the Hagerstown Suns' version of Jekyll and Hyde.

There are times when he looks good and there are times when he looks bad at the plate. But when Sosa Jekylls, it's time for the opposition to hide.

Despite looking overmatched in his first three cracks at Delmarva pitching, Sosa snapped out of it with a two-run, bases-loaded single in the sixth to send the Suns to a 10-7 victory and a sweep of the Shorebirds before 4,273 Education Day fans at Municipal Stadium.

"Sosa didn't look good in his first three at-bats, but he has that ability to look bad some times and look really good when we need him," Hagerstown manager Mike Ramsey said. "It's a knack. First, he's taking bad swings and striking out and then he pops up and scalds one."

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Sosa's "good guy" act came right at the time the Shorebirds were getting generous. Delmarva fought back with four runs in the sixth off starter Clay Hensley to tie the game at 5-5.

But then, the Shorebirds' defense unraveled by committing three errors in the final four innings - including the one which gave Sosa his big chance - to hand the Suns five unearned runs.

The rally gave Hagerstown its 15th win in the last 17 games and its second four-game sweep of Delmarva in two weeks. The Suns remain in second place in the South Atlantic League Northern Division chase, 6 1/2 games behind Lake County, which comes to town today to start a crucial four-game series.

Hagerstown (32-23) used a flair for the dramatic - and some winner's luck - to send the Shorebirds to their 10th straight loss.

Fred Lewis started the rally by drawing a two-out walk off reliever Paul Henry, followed by a Karl Jernigan's single to left. Derin McMains hit a routine grounder to second baseman Mike Done, who lob throw to first pulled Dustin Yount off the bag for an error to load the bases.

Sosa followed by slapping a two-run single to right to give the Suns a 7-5 lead.

"I didn't make any adjustments, I just felt good," Sosa said. "The bases were loaded when I came up and I just looked for a strike to hit."

Troy Ransom, who replaced Hensley, kept the Shorebirds off the scoreboard in the seventh to earn his first professional victory. Ransom helped himself by throwing out Yount from the seat of his pants to end the inning.

Hagerstown added three unearned runs in the eighth with the help of two more Shorebirds' errors. Val Majewski, the SAL's RBI leader, cracked a two-run homer off Scott Munter in the ninth to tighten the score. Josh Habel got the last two outs to earn his second save.

The Suns took a 3-0 in the first on a two-run double by Jason Columbus and an RBI single by Aaron Hornostaj. They made it 5-0 in the third on run-scoring singles by Randy Walter and Jake Wald.

Yount drove in Delmarva's first run with a single in the third before the Shorebirds chased Hensley with four consecutive singles in the sixth, capped by a two-run hit by Rafael Diaz and a two-run double by Neal Stephenson.

"We scored early and we looked like we were going to have our way," Ramsey said. "They gave us all we wanted when Clay started getting some pitches up. The biggest thing was we scored those two to get the lead back. We got some gift runs in the end, but we still needed someone to come through in the clutch to win it. It was a good win ... but they all are."

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