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Suns' bats flatline to beat of Bombers

July 30, 2003|by CURT HORNBECKER / Staff Correspondent

In Mike Ramsey's mind, four runs is the magic number.

"If we can score runs a game, I like our chances," said the Hagerstown Suns manager.

Unfortunately, Ramsey made that comment after his anemic offense struggled to plate even one run in a 4-1 loss to Capital City in a South Atlantic League game Tuesday night before 1,769 fans at Municipal Stadium, who had little cause for excitement.

The Suns were limited to just four hits and struck out 10 times against a trio of Capital City pitchers.

"Anytime you get into double figures in strikeouts that's too much," Ramsey said. "That's trouble for us."

While Hagerstown (17-20, 52-52) had problems offensively, the Bombers (19-17, 58-46) didn't exactly blow anybody away, scratching four single runs in each of the third, fourth, sixth and seventh innings.

Suns starter Glenn Woolard (6-6), who gave up three of the four runs, allowed a two-out, bases-loaded walk to Aaron Baldiris to put Capital City up 1-0 in the third.

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The Bombers' second run scored when Andres Rodriguez opened with a walk and moved to second on shortstop Jake Wald's error. Rodriguez tagged on a fly ball to right and slid safely into third just ahead of the tag.

Matt Galante followed with another fly ball to right, and Randy Walter's throw beat Rodriguez to the plate, but the Bombers' base runner was called safe on a controversial play, after bowling over catcher Steve Holm, who held on to the ball.

"I don't see how (Rodriguez) could have touched home plate," Ramsey said. "(Umpire Brian Frisch) just wasn't prepared to make that call. But it was just one call. That didn't lose the game for us."

An Edgar Rodriguez home run in the sixth gave Capital City a 3-0 advantage before Woolard was relieved by Erick Threets to open the seventh.

Derran Watts reached on a one-out single and stole second and third before Corey Ragsdale walked to put runners on first and third. Threets caught Ragsdale off first base, but Watts alertly scored on the ensuing rundown.

Meanwhile, Bombers' reliever Brian Walker (6-4) pitched masterfully, holding the Suns hitless for five innings.

"We faced some tough pitching tonight," said Ramsey. "I thought we took too many fastballs and that was discouraging. But (Walker) shut us down."

Hagerstown finally broke through in the eighth when Randy Walter laced a one-out double, and moved to third on a wild pitch before Jay Knowlton's RBI single.

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