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Suns positively give little effort

July 25, 2005|by TIM KOELBLE

koelble@herald-mail.com

Looking for positives from the Hagerstown Suns' game against Lake County on Sunday?

Skip right past the Suns' lockerroom, because no positives could be found there after the Captains put down a 9-2 crunching on Hagerstown.

Manager Gene Richards probably held his quickest postgame meeting of the year - 30 seconds.

"I asked the players as a team, 'Are you giving it your best,' and as a team they said, 'Yes,'" said Richards after watching his team fall for the third time in its last four outings, all against Lake County, and drop to 10-18 in the second half of the South Atlantic League season.

"There were no positives from this game," said Richards. "We lacked energy and played poorly. Nothing kicked in for us."

Hagerstown pitcher Mike Devaney walked Lake County's Trevor Crowe to open the game and quickly fell behind in the count 2-0 on Brian Finegan before allowing a single. After a double-play ball, Tim Montgomery lashed a double to score Crowe.

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Things were far worse in the second inning for Devaney as Ricardo Rojas ripped a one-out homer, and singles by Fernando Pacheco and Jose Ortega and a double by Finegan produced two more runs and a 4-0 lead.

"I assume (Devaney) wasn't ready to pitch today," said Richards. "He labored, and when he recovered it was too late."

Devaney (6-2) finished with three scoreless innings and was followed by Jose Gomez, who gave up three runs in 2 1/3 innings, and Bo Bowman, who allowed two runs in 1 2/3 innings as Lake County put together a 14-hit attack.

Hagerstown could not catch up with Lake County lefty Dan Cevette, who worked on a pitch count through five scoreless innings with seven strikeouts.

The Suns plated a pair of runs in the sixth inning when Russ Triplett led off with a triple against Ryan Knippschild and scored on a groundout by Ambiorix Concepcion. Mike Carp smacked his second double of the game and crossed the plate when Jesus Flores singled.

"We just have to take the bull by the horn and keep working hard," said Richards, who has had to work with several new players in the second half following several player promotions. "They need to learn to be accountable to play better ball for the kids, the fans, and bring their level up. I can handle a loss if they are playing better ball."

Blake Eger gets a chance to reverse the Suns' fortunes as he starts tonight against Delmarva in a rare one-game series.

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