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Habel stays sharp for Suns

August 07, 2003

HICKORY, N.C. - Josh Habel must be enjoying life as a starting pitcher.

Habel improved to 6-1 as a starter and 9-5 overall, throwing seven innings of four-hit ball as the Hagerstown Suns defeated the Hickory Crawdads 5-1 in the opener of a four-game South Atlantic League series Wednesday night.

Hagerstown (57-54, 22-22 second half) took a half-game lead over Greensboro in the race for a Wild Card berth in the Northern Division. Greensboro lost to South Georgia, 6-5.

The Suns scored twice in the third inning on RBI singles by Brian Buscher and Brian Munhall, and added three more in the fourth. Jake Wald singled and scored on a wild pitch, and Buscher added a two-run single.

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Scott Munter worked a scoreless eighth and Matt Palmer worked the ninth, giving up Brad Eldred's 22nd homer of the season to ruin the shutout.

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