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Suns blow chances in 6-2 loss

June 15, 2006|by BOB PARASILITI

The Hagerstown Suns have been forced to realize the errors of their ways.

On Wednesday, the reality of it all was the Suns' errors leading to extra Power chances - and three unearned runs - and missed offensive opportunities costing Hagerstown runs.

Reality bites. And it's sinking its teeth into the Suns as a shaky fifth inning led to three West Virginia runs - two unearned - to pace the Power to a 6-2 victory.

The Suns (25-41) fell deeper into last place in the South Atlantic League's Northern Division with a third straight loss. The most telling numbers thus far might be Hagerstown's 108 errors in 66 games - including three last night - while the offense is hitting just .210 and .180 after two outs with runners in scoring position - a situation where the Suns were 0-for-5 on Wednesday.

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The saving grace is the first half ends on Sunday and Hagerstown will get the chance to reload for the second half at 0-0, starting on June 22.

West Virginia broke a 2-2 tie in the fifth, beginning with Darren Ford's leadoff double off Suns starter Ryan Meyers. He took third on Lorenzo Cain's single and scored when shortstop Jonathan Schemmel misplayed Angel Salome's grounder for an RBI. It opened the door for Mat Gamel's RBI double and Tony Festa's run-scoring single to take a 5-2 lead.

Meyers left after 4 2/3 innings, allowing five runs (three earned) on seven hits and three walks.

Meyers helped stake West Virginia to a 2-0 lead in the first with an errant pickoff throw.

Meyers walked Ford to open the game and advanced him to third when his pickoff attempt got past first baseman Nick Evans. Salome picked up the RBI with a single to left before taking third on Gamel's single off of Meyers' leg and into left field.

Ned Yost grounded to short to score Salome.

Hagerstown got a run back off West Virginia starter and winner Derek Miller (7-1) when Hector Pellot drew a one-out walk and stole second. Nick Evans lined a shot at Cain in right field, who slipped and fell, giving Evans a two-out RBI triple. Evans was stranded at third as the Suns moved to within one at 2-1 after one inning.

Schemmel put the Suns back in business in the second with a one-out double down the right-field line. He took third on Drew Butera's single and scored on Elvis Cruz's hit to tie it.

Joe Holden advanced runners to second and third with two outs on a sacrifice bunt, but Pellot struck out to end the rally.

Jim Wladyka relieved Meyers and threw 3 2/3 innings of strong relief to give the Suns a chance to get back into the game.

But Hagerstown couldn't crack Miller after the second inning, striking out eight tim es over five innings.

The Suns left runners stranded in the fourth and eighth innings. In the eighth, Leivi Ventura reached base on a strikeout and wild pitch, and took third on Evans' double. But Jonathan Sanchez fouled out and Jonel Pacheco struck out to end the threat.

The only hit Wladyka allowed came back to haunt him in the ninth. Ryan Crew hit a leadoff double before Wladyka was pulled with one out. Crew took third on an errant pickoff try by Butera from behind the plate and scored on Cain's single off German Marte for the third unearned run allowed by the Suns.

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