Suns put pieces together for win

August 19, 2003|by TIM KOELBLE

The Hagerstown Suns hit the trifecta on Monday at Municipal Stadium with solid pitching, defense and clutch hitting in a 5-2 victory over the Greensboro Bats.

A sound, fundamental performance gave the Suns (62-59, 27-27) wins in three of the four games against Greensboro and kept them within 2 1/2 games of Lexington (66-58) - a 7-0 winner over Lakewood - in the South Atlantic League Northern Division Wild Card race. The Suns are one game ahead of the Bats (62-61).

Glenn Woolard (7-9) crafted six strong innings to earn his first victory since July 24, allowing six hits and striking out six. Jason Waddell added a pair of good relief innings and Billy Sadler pitched the ninth for his first professional save.


"This was the longest drought in my life," said Woolard, who has been working on release mechanics with pitching coach Bob Stanley. "It feels good to get back on track. I'll sleep better tonight."

Manager Mike Ramsey was beaming with the victory, a result of the "we did everything well" kind of baseball Hagerstown played.

The Suns struck for four runs in the second off David Marchbanks, who was making his second Greensboro start.

Brian Buscher, a former college teammate of Marchbanks at South Carolina, started the uprising with a single to right and Julian Benavidez singled to left. After Brian Munhall moved the runners up with a perfect sacrifice, Randy Walter ripped a two-run triple off the fence in front of the Suns' bullpen. He would later score when Jake Wald ripped a single inside the line at third for a 3-0 lead.

After Fred Lewis laid down a perfect drag bunt for an infield single, Greensboro muffed a double play opportunity when Kevin Randel threw wildly to first, allowing Wald to score.

Greensboro came back with its two runs in the third on a run-scoring triple by Jeremy Hermida, who later scored on a 6-4-3 double play.

Hagerstown scored again in the fifth when Lewis doubled, went to third on a single by Alexander and scored on a sacrifice fly by Carlos Sosa.

"Woolard's breaking stuff was sharp and he was around the plate all night," Ramsey said. "Even when he's lost he has given us quality starts. He had all his pitches tonight."

Ramsey elected to go with Sadler in the ninth, since the young righty had not pitched in seven days and the Suns had a three-run lead.

Sadler allowed a walk and single around a strikeout and had onlookers flinching in their seats and Ramsey considering a move to closer Scott Munter.

However, Sadler proceeded to punch out Robert Word and induce pinch-hitter Andy Rohleder on a comebacker to close out the game.

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