Suns' loss not a Laffey matter

June 08, 2005|by BOB PARASILITI

The Lake County Captains had a lot to smile about Tuesday.

After all, they got the first Laffey and the last laugh on the Hagerstown Suns.

It was no joke to Hagerstown, though, as Lake County came out swinging from the start for 18 hits to support starter Aaron Laffey in his return to Western Maryland with a 12-2 dismantling of the Suns.

Laffey, a left-handed pitcher who graduated from Allegany High, kept the Suns in stitches with one run on four hits over six innings after the Captains battered Jose Sanchez - Hagerstown's best starter with a 9-0 record - for eight runs and nine hits in 3 1/3 innings to hand him his first loss of the season.

"The biggest thing he did today was he was left-handed and he threw strikes," Suns manager Gene Richards said. "I'm not taking anything from the game he pitched - because he pitched well - but he was hittable. We were flat and they outplayed us in every facet."


The Suns never got the chance to inflate the offense.

Lake County's first four hitters collected hits off Sanchez, who entered the game as the South Atlantic League's wins leader with a 2.47 ERA.

Argenis Reyes led off with a single and took third on Mike Butia's double to center before both scored on Wyatt Toregas' single to right. Brian Barton doubled to center to give the Captains a 3-0 lead without the benefit of an out.

"They put the pedal to the medal from the get-go," Richards said. "They never let up."

Lake County's win tightened the South Atlantic League North Division race even further. The third-place Captains moved within two games of the division-leading Suns, who maintained a one-game advantage over Lexington with 11 games remaining in the half.

The Captains scored in five of the first six innings.

Butia homered in the second before the Captains chased Sanchez with four runs - three unearned - in the fourth for an 8-0 lead. The Suns committed three errors in the game - two in the fourth.

The Suns got one back in the fourth as Carlos Gomez walked, took third when Wilson Batista reached on shortstop Brian Finegan's fielding error and scored on Mike Carp's single.

Reliever Rafael Cova allowed three runs in two innings and Lake County scored its final run off Kevin Mannix in his closing 3 2/3-innings stint.

Lake County, which defeated Delmarva 18-7 on Sunday, has scored 30 runs on 40 hits and is hitting .455 over the last two games.

Butia had four hits, two RBI and scored two runs while Juan Valdez had three hits and two RBI.

The top four in Lake County's order went 10-for-22 (.455) with seven RBI against Suns pitching on Tuesday.

The Suns managed seven hits against Lake County, led by Psomas with two, including a solo home run in the ninth.

"The way they started against us wasn't demoralizing," Richards said. "The demoralizing part was that we didn't show up. You saw from the onset that Sanchez didn't have it. We were flat and we fell into the routine. No one came out and took charge. It's going to be important to see how they respond to this (today)."

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