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Suns err in their ways

July 16, 2005|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

If to err is human, then the Hagerstown Suns became the king of the species on Friday.

It was a de-evolution of the Suns, who were about as out of tune as Roseanne singing the national anthem.

Lake County used three Hagerstown errors to rough up Jose Sanchez for five runs in the first two innings to set the stage for an easy 7-2 victory before 3,785 skyrocket seekers at Municipal Stadium.

"They took advantage of our mistakes," said Suns manager Gene Richards. "We didn't play a very good game today. It was a lack of execution, especially on offense. We put on plays and we missed them. We didn't do anything correct."

Richards wasn't in error with his statement.

Lake County ended the Suns' three-game winning streak by making the first inning unbearable for Sanchez (11-4), who has struggled to get the first three outs in games.

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Brian Finegan, Mike Whitney and Tim Montgomery hit consecutive one-out singles to produce the first run before Whitney scored on a Yury Santana throwing error to take a 2-0 lead.

Sanchez, who opened the season with nine straight wins, has a 5.50 ERA in the first inning, allowing 11 runs in 18 starts. He is 1-2 with a 6.39 ERA in three starts against the Captains, allowing 15 runs (nine earned) on 20 hits.

The top four of the Captains' batting order went 9-for-17 with four RBI and four runs scored. Finegan went 4-for-4 (all singles) with a walk while Whitney finished with three hits. Lake County had 11 hits in the game.

Lake County took a 5-1 lead in the second as Wyatt Toregas led off with a double and Jose Ortega reached on third baseman Grant Psomas' fielding error. Juan Valdes drove in one run with a groundout and Trevor Crowe followed with an RBI double. He later scored on Jesus Flores' throwing error.

The Suns (50-41, 8-13) had a chance to tie the game at 2-2 in the first inning, but failed in the clutch. Carlos Gomez drew a one-out walk off starter Chuck Lofgren (2-1) and scored on Ambiorix Concepcion's single. Concepcion took second on a wild pitch and was held at third on Mike Carp's single to right, where he was stranded.

"I don't regret not sending him at all," Richards said. "You always second-guess yourself, but we had the potential for a big inning. We had one of the best players in the league (Psomas) batting fifth and in my opinion, I was going to play the percentages. He's not our hottest hitter, but he has come through for us in the past."

The Captains scored a sixth run off Sanchez in the fourth as Valdes drew a one-out walk, stole second and scored on Finegan's third hit.

The Suns got a run back in the fifth when Santana led off with a single and eventually scored on Concepcion's sacrifice fly to cut the deficit to 6-2.

Hagerstown relievers Joe Serfass and Jose Gomez allowed one run in five innings of work to keep the Suns in the game. The Captains got the run off Serfass on a sacrifice fly by Montgomery.

The Suns were thrown out trying to steal three times, twice on failed hit-and-run attempts.

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