Kannapolis' pitching silences Suns

July 07, 2004|by BOB PARASILITI

The Hagerstown Suns gave manager Mike Ramsey less than an earful on Tuesday.

And it was deafening.

The Suns cued up their own rendition of "Sound of Silence" as Kannapolis' Ryan Rodriguez and Fabio Castro - a pair of left-handers - left Hagerstown speechless in a three-hitter and a 5-0 loss.

"The bats were real silent tonight," said Ramsey, with a shake of the head. "There were no threats at all and there was nothing offensive in the attack. It's frustrating to score eight runs on 12 hits one night and not get anything the next."

Suns' hits were as common as intelligent Jerry Springer guests ... they were few and far between. Rodriguez (7-5), who entered the game with a 4.59 ERA, held the Suns to three hits over seven innings while striking out eight before Castro kept the door locked with only a hit batsman in the final two innings.


"Lefties give us trouble, there is no doubt about it," Ramsey said. "It's tough, but you have to start wondering why it is. Basically all the left-handers we face do the same things to us and it's frustrating. We don't seem to make the adjustments, staying back and hit the ball the other way. That guy didn't have great numbers, but he did a great job against us changing his speeds."

It made for a night when water torture would have been more fun. Kannapolis plugged up the Suns and drip, drip, dripped rallies in slow, agonizing fashion to salt away the victory.

The Intimidators (8-4, 42-39) used five separate one-run rallies to speak volumes over the bound-and-gagged Suns' attack. It ruined a serviceable start by Omar Anez, who allowed three runs in six innings before being lifted.

Kannapolis broke to the lead with a run in the third as Gustavo Molina was hit by a pitch, took second on Antoin Gray's single and advanced on a double steal before Cory Haggerty's sacrifice fly.

Brian Bounds homered to lead off the fourth and Micah Schnurstein doubled and scored on Bounds' single in the sixth for the 3-0 lead.

Gray homered off reliever Chris George in the seventh and Chris Young drove in the final run with an infield single off Ben Wilson in the ninth before the Suns uttered a sound.

Hagerstown got a single in the first by Brian Munhall, a single in the second by Jonathan Armitage and a leadoff double in the sixth by Pat Dobson for its only hits.

The Suns played without outfielders Jesse Schmidt, who suffered back spasms during Monday's game, and Jon Coutlangus, who is nursing a sore leg. It hampered Hagerstown's options, but didn't stop the Suns from at least letting out a whimper.

The loss came on the heels of Monday's meltdown, when Hagerstown lost a 7-3 lead and allowed six runs in the final three innings to lose 11-8.

"(Monday's game) could have had an effect tonight," Ramsey said. "We were flat tonight. We are in a difficult stretch. If we were 47-32 right now, it's easy. But we are 32-47 and we have to dig a little deeper. We have to dig down and get after it a little better. This is something we will have to address. I'm not going to go out there and play the next two months like this."

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