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Suns strike fear into Intimidators

August 22, 2003

The third time was the charm.

It took awhile, but the Hagerstown Suns finally figured out last-place Kannapolis.

On Tuesday, the Suns had all the chances in the world but failed to come through. On Wednesday, they had no chance at all and lost by 16 runs.

But on Thursday, Hagerstown got it just right. Kevin Kelly and Randy Walter drove in three runs each as the Suns put two five-run innings on the board en route to a 12-3 victory over the Intimidators.

Hagerstown got 12 runs on 14 hits, two days after scoring just two times on 13 hits and a day after being swamped by all of Kannapolis' scoring in the first six innings in an 18-2 drubbing.

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But despite the win, Hagerstown (63-61, 28-29) remains 3 1/2 games behind Lexington in the South Atlantic League Northern Division's Wild Card chase with 11 games remaining.

It started out looking like the first two nights revisited for the Suns in the first inning, though.

Kannapolis scored three runs off starter Josh Habel (10-6) in the first inning on a throwing error by catcher Brian Munhall, an RBI single by Jim Terrell and a double steal.

Hagerstown scratched back for single runs in the first and third to cut the deficit to 3-2.

Kelly got the Suns on the board in blooper fashion with a sacrifice fly to first baseman Julio Reyes with the bases loaded. Fred Lewis tagged up and charged home despite the infield fly ruling for the out.

Carlos Sosa hit his eighth home run of the season in the third to bring the Suns to within a run.

Hagerstown took total control with five runs in the fourth, highlighted by three doubles. Walter hit a two-run double followed by run-scoring shots by Munhall and Kelly. A.J. Labarbera drove in the fifth run with a single for a 7-2 lead.

The rally chased Kannapolis starter Todd Deininger (5-4) after allowing seven runs on eight hits.

The Suns closed out their scoring methodically in the sixth with five more runs. Kelly and Lewis, who finished with three hits, had RBI singles sandwiched around a run-scoring wild pitch, a bases-loaded walk to Kevin Alexander and Walter's sacrifice fly.

Munhall also had three hits for the Suns.

Habel pitched seven innings, allowing the three runs on four hits, without any walks and struck out seven. Bill Sadler pitched the final two innings.

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