Situational spots sink Suns

May 02, 2006|By BOB PARASILITI

Don't be fooled. Playing baseball for the Hagerstown Suns is like any other job.

You go in, punch a clock and hope for the best.

But on Monday, the clock punched back. The Suns' hopes for the best didn't come through as a lack of timely hits turned into a 3-2 loss to Delmarva before 2,552 fans at an Education Day morning matinee at Municipal Stadium.

Considering the 10:35 a.m. start, it was more like the clock sounded off, but the Suns hit the snooze bar.

Hagerstown squandered prime scoring chances in the fourth, seventh and ninth innings to decide another one-run game.

"What it comes down to always is when the game comes down to 'the moment,' it's trying to get a good at-bat and getting the run in," Suns manager Frank Cacciatore said. "We have been having a lot of those moments this year. Today, we didn't have the moment and couldn't get the big hit."


The score was a direct reflection of the style of game. The Suns and the Shorebirds played situational baseball Monday. Delmarva capitalized on their situations three times while Hagerstown only came through twice.

The main turning point came in the seventh, when the Shorebirds scored what became the deciding run. Delmarva put the leadoff hitter on base six times in the game, with three of them scoring.

Lorenzo Scott drew a leadoff walk and took second on reliever Brandon Nall's wild pitch.

Rafael Rodriguez advanced Scott to third with a sacrifice bunt before Arturo Rivas walked to chase Nall.

Josh Appell finished the game and got Ryan Finan to hit a line drive to right fielder Jonathan Sanchez, but it was deep enough to score Scott to break the 2-2 tie.

"We matched up with them well all game," Cacciatore said. "Appell just got one ball up. Finan is a good hitter and he got the job done. We played well âEUR¦ we just didn't get the 'W.'"

The Suns had the chance to match Delmarva's run in the seventh. Elvis Cruz drew a leadoff walk from Daniel Lonsberry (2-0) and moved to second on Hector Pellot's sacrifice bunt. Lonsberry got Jose Castro to ground to short for the second out before leaving the game.

Delmarva manager Gary Kendall elected to go to left-hander Trent Baysinger to face the left-handed-hitting Sanchez. Baysinger got his first of three strikeouts over his hitless 1 1/3 innings of work to end the threat.

"We are just looking to get guys in the position to get the chance to (get the big hits)," Cacciatore said. "We did that. As far as the overall execution in the game, we did well. We just didn't get the big hit. You have to give them some credit for that because they got the big pitch when they needed it to stop us."

Delmarva took a 1-0 lead in the first off starter Eric Brown when Scott led off the game with a walk, took second on a wild pitch and scored on Rivas' one-out double.

The Suns tied the game in the third as Matt Anderson drew a leadoff walk off Delmarva starter Reid Hamblet, advanced on a groundout and used singles by Cruz and Jose Castro to score.

The Shorebirds (12-10) regained the lead in the sixth when Finan greeted Nall (0-2) with his second of two leadoff doubles and scored on Kyle Dahlberg's one-out double.

The Suns answered back when Nick Evans hit a leadoff double in the sixth off Lonsberry and eventually scored on Matt Anderson's two-out single deep into the hole at short that Rodriguez threw away.

Hagerstown (10-13) wasted a prime scoring opportunity in the fourth. The Suns loaded the bases with two outs but were retired when Cruz grounded back to Hamblet.

In the ninth, Anderson led off with a single off closer Jim Hoey and Drew Butera moved pinch runner Fernando Martinez to second with a sacrifice bunt. But Cruz grounded out and Pellot struck out for the fourth time to end the game.

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