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Suns eclipsed by hot-swinging Shorebirds

June 06, 2004|By BOB PARASILITI

Baseball's smallest measurement made the biggest difference for the Hagerstown Suns on Friday.

One pitch ... It was the difference between turning off a dripping faucet and opening the floodgates.

Hagerstown pitcher Ryan Sadowski was one pitch away from extracting the Suns from a bases-loaded, no-out situation. A pitch just off the outside corner to Eric Grimm forced in a run and ignited a five-run rally to lead Delmarva to a 12-2 victory at Municipal Stadium.

"Sadowski came on and got the two quick outs and was one hitter away from getting us out of it and he walked one in," Suns manager Mike Ramsey said. "It wasn't his fault we lost, but if he could have got that one more pitch, it might have been a different outcome."

The run-scoring walk to Grimm tied the score at 1-1. Jared Rine followed with a three-run double and Cory Harris drove him in with a single - one of the Delmarva left fielder's five hits in the game - to give the Shorebirds a 5-1 lead.

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From there, it was a night of playing from behind for the Suns, who became as flat as a out-of-tune Blues singer.

"We got down after that fourth inning," Ramsey said. "After they got that three-run double it was tough. You can't always hope to do what we did (Thursday) night twice in a row. They did some damage to us tonight and found a lot of holes."

The Suns rallied with five runs in the last two innings Thursday to pull out a 7-6 win over the Shorebirds. There was no magic left in the tank.

Delmarva bolstered their lead with two runs in each the fifth, eighth and ninth innings along with a single run in the sixth to salt the win away for starter Zach Dixon (4-1). It was the Shorebirds' first win in six tries against the Suns (24-29).

Hagerstown held a brief 1-0 lead after three innings as Brian Munhall lined a home run over the right-center field fence.

Wilson escaped problems in each of the first three innings but ran out of luck in the fourth. He allowed consecutive singles to Nick Markakis, Matt Houston and Rafael Diaz before being lifted for Sadowski.

Sadowski got Travis Brown to foul out to first and struck out Levi Robinson to put the Suns on the verge of another escape. It all ended when Grimm drew his walk.

Delmarva, which had seven hits off Wilson, unloaded a season-high 18 hits against Suns pitching. Harris had four singles and a double while driving in two runs while Houston added three hits. Rine finished with four RBI.

"Harris has hurt us every time we've faced him," Ramsey said. "We have to find a way to get him out. But they all hurt us today with 18 hits."

Hagerstown got its other run in the seventh inning as Tomas Gorrido singled, Jesse Schmidt doubles and Pat Dobson walked off Dixon to load the bases for Nate Schierholtz. Schierholtz drove in the run with a sacrifice fly, but the Suns couldn't capitalize any further.

"It was just one of those games," Ramsey said. "We were one pitch away and they made (Sadowski) pay."

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