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Olsen puts clamps on Suns' bats

August 17, 2003|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

It was a good thing for the Hagerstown Suns that this Olsen didn't have a twin.

One Scott Olsen was more than enough for the Suns to handle.

Olsen wasn't in a cloning mood though, going about his business with six innings of shutout pitching with 10 strikeouts Saturday as the Greensboro Bats scratched out a 2-1 win that knocked Hagerstown further back in the Wild Card chase.

The left-hander was dominant, only allowing one hit - the only hit the Suns managed for the game - while walking three. Hagerstown (60-59, 25-27) got two runners to third base against Olsen in the fourth and fifth innings, but went down flailing at third strikes to end the threats.

"It's hard to win with only one hit," Suns manager Mike Ramsey said. "We didn't do much with the bats and we didn't mount many threats. Their left-handed pitcher was good. He had the ball moving in and out. We were off balance and didn't get any comfortable swings. We got one bloop hit and that was it."

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The loss keeps the Suns 2 1/2 behind Lexington in the Northern Division wild card playoff chase behind Lexington, which lost 5-3 in Lakewood. Greensboro also moves one game ahead of the Suns in the chase.

Olsen (6-7) allowed a single to Kevin Alexander that flared to right field. It followed a one-out walk to Julian Benavidez and gave Hagerstown runners on first and second. Randy Walter worked to a 3-0 count - which included a passed ball to advance the runners - but Olsen battled back to strike him out and then punched out Brian Munhall to end Hagerstown's opportunity to cut into a 2-0 deficit.

Hagerstown got its only run in the seventh off reliever Carlos Martinez with the help of two Greensboro fielding errors. Brian Buscher reached on a broken bat grounder that shortstop Robert Andino threw away and eventually scored when second baseman Kevin Randel threw the ball away trying to complete a double play.

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