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Suns' bats intimidate Intimidators

May 22, 2004

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. - The Hagerstown Suns rode a wave of offense on Friday.Jesse Schmidt started a swell, Jason Columbus created the crest and the rest of the Suns just poured all over Kannapolis.

Schmidt homered off the game's first pitch and Columbus collected four hits, including a game-breaking three-run double in the second, as Hagerstown collected a season-high 18 hits in a 10-4 rout of the Intimidators.

The Suns (17-24) swamped Kannapolis left-handed starting pitcher Daniel Haigwood, who entered the game with opponents hitting .185 against him. Hagerstown roughed up Haigwood for six runs on 10 hits in five innings.

It was a major accomplishment for the Suns, who entered the gmae hitting .166 against left-handed pitching.

It all started with Schmidt, who sent Haigwood's first pitch over the left-field wall. But the Intimidators tied the game off Suns starter Juan Serrato (3-1) by using a double steal in the bottom half of the inning.

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Hagerstown continued to batter Haigwood in the second as Pat Dobson drew a bases-loaded walk to break the tie. One out later, Columbus drove the ball into the left-center field gap for three runs and a 5-1 Suns lead.

Kannapolis began to chip away at Serrato, closing to within 5-3, before Jonathan Armitage's RBI single in the fourth.

Hagerstown made it 8-3 in the sixth when Nate Schierholtz hit his South Atlantic League-leading 11th home run of the season followed by singles by Columbus and Armitage to set up a Mike Wagner sacrifice fly.

Schmidt singled to drive home Derek Barrows, who doubled, for a run in the seventh and Wagner doubled home Columbus in the eighth to close Hagerstown's scoring.

Serrato pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing four runs (two earned) on six hits while walking one and striking out five. Bill Musgrave pitched 2 2/3 innings of hitless relief and Jesse English pitched the ninth to close out the win.

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