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Suns' slow start dooms fast finish

April 30, 2004|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

The Hagerstown Suns are tearing down old adages one by one.

On Thursday, they proved sometimes it is how you start and not how you finish.

The Suns produced a exciting six-run rally in the ninth inning against Lexington. The only problem was Hagerstown was down 10 runs at the time as the Legends hung on for a 10-6 victory before 1,855 fans at Municipal Stadium.

"We didn't do much early in the game to help us out late," Suns manager Mike Ramsey said. "We swung the bats well, but we didn't do much until the last inning, and then we got three hit batters and two walks. (Lexington's pitcher) helped us out a bit."

The Suns (5-12) had eight hits through the eighth inning but were never able to convert in the clutch to drive in runs. Hagerstown stranded 11 runners while going scoreless into the ninth, usually by making outs by hitting balls right at Lexington's fielders.

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"We didn't extend the innings like we would have liked," Ramsey said. "We didn't do much, but the pitching didn't keep us in it. It's tough to think you need to be 10 runs down before you can rally for six."

Suns starter Tim Nesmith got the nod ahead of scheduled starter Ryan Sadowski, who became the first reliever in the game. Neither fared well.

Lexington (13-5) manufactured a run in the first as Josh Anderson drew a leadoff walk and worked around the bases before scoring on Saul Torres' sacrifice fly. The Legends got a two-run double from Edwin Maysonet in the third and scored on catcher Brian Munhall's throwing error in the fourth for a 4-0 lead.

Sadowski didn't do much better, allowing a run in the fifth and three more in the sixth, keyed by Freddy Acevedo's two-run homer to move to an 8-0 lead.

Beau Hearod hit a run-scoring double off Jesse Floyd in the ninth to highlight the two-run rally to make it a 10-0 washout.

Lexington brought on Robert Ramsey in the ninth to close the game for winner Matt Albers, but he created his own problems.

Tim Hutting opened the inning with a single and Jon Coutlangus reached on Maysonet's fielding error at second. Ramsey followed by hitting A.J. LaBarbera and Nate Schierholtz with pitches to force in one run. After two outs, he also hit Mike Wagner to bring in a second run.

Jesse Schmidt brought in a third run with an infield single and Munhall drew a walk to produce the fourth score. Hutting added a two-run single to bring the Suns within four runs. Coutlangus flied out to right to end the game.

Wagner reached base all five times for the Suns, three times on singles.

"Wagner was a real positive for us today," Ramsey said. "He got on five times and stayed within himself to get his hits."

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