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Legends enjoy Suns' generosity

August 03, 2005|by BOB PARASILITI

bobp@herald-mail.com

Somewhere along the way, the Hagerstown Suns have forgotten the main commandment of Single-A baseball.

"On this level, 'He who takes full advantage of the opponent usually wins,'" Suns manager Gene Richards said.

The Suns were the ones who got taken full advantage of on Tuesday. Lake County used a misplayed fly ball and a passed ball to change what should have been a one-run seventh inning into a four-run rally and a 7-4 victory.

It started when Trevor Crowe's fly ball ticked off of right fielder Ambiorix Concepcion's glove to allow Frenando Pacheco to score from third with the tying run. Jesus Flores followed with the passed ball which allowed Jose Ortega to score the go-ahead run.

After Brian Finegan struck out - which should have put an end to the inning - Matt Whitney completed the extended inning with a two-run homer to right off Rafael Cova for the three-run lead.

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"It seems the way it is is that we can't sustain anything," Richards said. "We go along and then we make the critical mistake. That was a situation where you allow the sacrifice fly. You can't give them more chances. We gave them six outs."

It was the counter-punch that got Hagerstown's attention. Then, the knockout blow was self-inflicted. That's probably why the Suns are 11-22 in the second half.

Armand Gaerlan, Concepcion and Mike Carp led off with consecutive singles to threaten the lead and chase Lake County reliever Ryan Knippschild. Jesus Soto came on to strike out Flores and coax Derran Watts to hit into a inning-ending double play to keep the lead at three.

"That wasn't a happy time," Richards said. "We had to make contact with that first batter after the bases were loaded. We get a sacrifice fly and we are right back into the game. That first out was key. We can't bunch two and three hits right now ... we haven't been able to do that for a long time."

The Suns got runners on in the eighth and ninth innings, but a double play ended the first instance and closer Kieran Mattison struck out the side in the ninth to end the game.

The Suns took a 1-0 lead in the first off Lake County starter Reid Santos when Gaerlan singled, took second on Concepcion's grounder and scored on Carp's single to left center.

Lake County took control in the third when Tim Montgomery hit a three-run home run to dead center field off starter Jeff Williams for a 3-1 lead. Williams, who just joined the Suns, became a novelty. He was the Suns' first left-handed starter this season, coming in the 103rd game.

The Suns chipped back with a run in the fourth on Russ Triplett's run-scoring single and took the lead in the fifth when Carp's single tied the game and Watt's double gave Hagerstown a 4-3 lead.

Carp finished with two hits and two RBI for the Suns, while Concepcion had three of Hagerstown's 12 hits.

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