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Captains rally to beat Suns

August 05, 2005|by DAN KAUFFMAN

kauffman@herald-mail.com

It seemed a rather ordinary hit at the time, a two-out, bases-empty double by Lake County's Tim Montgomery with the Captains trailing 4-0 in the sixth inning and Hagerstown Suns starter Jose Sanchez rolling along with a three-hit shutout up to that point.

Five minutes later - after Sanchez walked the next two batters and gave up Fernando Pacheco's three-run triple to the right-field corner - it was clear just how big a hit Montgomery's double was. Lake County had all the momentum, tied the game in the seventh and won it in the 11th in a 7-4 loss that was tough for the Suns to swallow.

Ricardo Rojas doubled off Suns reliever Bo Bowman in the seventh and scored on Marshall Szabo's RBI groundout to tie the game. Rojas' solo home run off Marcelo Perez leading off the 11th proved to be the game-winner, and Matt Whitney's double later in the inning - after an infield error - scored two unearned runs to seal it.

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"I thought (Sanchez) just ran out of steam," Suns manager Gene Richards said. "He started laboring and there was no time to recover. ... The momentum shifted, and we weren't able to right the ship."

Carlos Gomez led off the bottom of the first with a mammoth home run to the deepest part of the park in left-center field for a 1-0 Suns lead. Second-inning doubles by Kyle Brown - a new addition to the Suns' roster - and Ryan Coultas made it 2-0, and in the fourth, Armand Gaerlan singled, Jim Burt hit a ground-rule double, Brown scored Gaerlan with a sacrifice fly and Coultas singled in Burt to make it 4-0.

But once Lake County started its rally, nothing positive happened for the Suns. In the bottom of the sixth with one out and runners on second and third, Coultas' line drive went right to Whitney at third, resulting in an unlucky double play to kill the inning. The Suns then loaded the bases with two outs in the 11th against Lake County closer Kieran Mattison, but Rafael Arroyo popped up to end the game.

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