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Shorebirds piece together win over Suns

May 26, 2006|by BOB PARASILITI

Delmarva played like it had 97 parts of a 100-piece jigsaw puzzle.

Bit by bit, the Shorebirds assembled what looked like rallies throughout the game Thursday. Unfortunately, the Hagerstown Suns provided the final three pieces to complete the big picture.

The Suns made the little mistakes - two errors and a wild pitch - that made the difference in three Delmarva runs in a 4-1 loss.

"We had a couple of chances," said Hagerstown manager Frank Cacciatore. "That's the way things have been going lately. We can't be giving other teams cheap runs right now."

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The little breaks were all the Shorebirds needed to win their seventh straight game - including three in a row over Hagerstown - to keep their hold on the South Atlantic League Northern Division lead. Hagerstown fell 10 games off the pace, mired in eighth place.

It became a piecemeal outing for Hagerstown starter Ryan Meyers, who pitched well enough to win but found himself struggling and in trouble for most of the game. There had to be a feeling that all wouldn't go well for Meyers in the first inning when he threw pitches so hard, he knocked a contact lens out of his eye on two different occasions.

"Meyers did a great job and (reliever Brandon) Nall did a good job keeping us in it," Cacciatore said. "We had the wild pitch when it looked like we were going to get out of the inning and got a ground ball with the bases loaded and couldn't come up with the play."

It all helped the runs come cheaply for the Shorebirds.

Delmarva jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first. Lorenzo Scott led off the game with a walk and took second on a groundout before scoring when Ryan Finan's ground ball rolled up first baseman Nick Evans' arm.

Mark Fleisher gave Delmarva a 2-0 lead in the second with a drive to right for his sixth home run of the season.

The Suns got a run back off Delmarva starter Manny Basilio when Rafael Arroyo ripped a two-out double to the center-field wall. Scott had trouble handling the carom, bobbling it twice and allowing Arroyo to circle the bases. He was safe when the relay was up the first-base line and dropped by catcher Brandon Snyder.

It became 3-1 in the fifth when Scott led off with a single, stole second and scored with the help of two wild pitches by Meyers.

Nall was touched for the final run in the eighth when C.J. Smith singled and reached second when Hector Pellot made a fantastic diving play behind second base only to have shortstop Jose Castro drop the throw for an error.

Nall advanced the runners with an errant pickoff before loading the bases by issuing an intentional walk to Fleisher. Stuart Musslewhite plated the run with a grounder that Evans couldn't handle cleanly, forcing the Suns to settle for the groundout instead of the force at home.

The Suns missed a golden opportunity in the eighth after Joe Holden and Pellot drew one-out walks off reliever Daniel Lonsberry. Jonathan Sanchez advanced to runners with a grounder before Evans was called out on strikes to end the threat.

"Those are the things that are difficult to play through," Cacciatore said. "We will make mistakes and errors will happen, but they have to grind it out."

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