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Evans' power no propaganda act for Suns

June 29, 2006|by BOB PARASILITI

Nick Evans almost made it sound easy.

"I was just looking for a good pitch to hit with two strikes and put a good swing on it," the Hagerstown Suns first baseman said. "That's about all I can do."

This isn't the Army, but being all he could be was more than enough for the Suns. In fact, Hagerstown went along for the ride.

Evans crushed two home runs en route to three hits and three RBI Wednesday to help give Jonathan Niese and a trio of Hagerstown relievers all the support they needed for an enjoyable 8-1 win over Delmarva in a game started after a one-hour, 20-minute rain delay.

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Suns pitching didn't need much help, though, as Niese fired five innings of hitless ball. In fact, the Shorebirds' only hit was Ryan Finan's leadoff home run to right off Eric Brown.

The foursome of Niese, Brown, German Marte and Eric Domangue combined to walk four and strike out five.

Evans' first home run gave Niese the early comfort zone and the Suns (30-45, 2-3) took it from there. Evans accounted for two of the four homers the newly revamped Suns hit on Wednesday.

"Scoring those first two runs was big," Evans said. "When Niese is out there, we feel confident. I don't think there is a pitcher who doesn't like getting an early lead to work with. And we were able to make it so we could enjoy a big lead after losing a couple of close games."

It all started with Jonel Pacheco's two-out single to left. Pacheco bothered Delmarva starter Reid Hamblet, who has controlled the Suns all season, before finally stealing second with two strikes on Evans.

On the next pitch, Evans blasted a shot to left off the scoreboard to give the Suns a 2-0 lead.

"I wasn't sure it was going," Evans said. "I wasn't sure either of them were. I just put some good swings on the ball today. The whole team did. It was a good to get a start like that after a long rain delay."

Jesus Gamero and Will Vogl, two of the newest Suns, combined to give Hagerstown a 4-0 lead in the fourth. Gamero, who joined the team Wednesday, drew a one-out walk and trotted home on Vogl's homer to right.

Pacheco led off the fifth with a homer on the batting cage in left field, immediately followed by Evans' towering shot over the center-field wall to give the Suns a 6-0 lead.

The last two runs came in the seventh against Delmarva reliever Russ Petrick as Evans, Leivi Ventura and Drew Butera all singled for the seventh run. Tony Piazza followed with a grounder to short, which seemed destined to force Butera at second, but second baseman Stu Musselwhite bobbled shortstop Rafael Rodriguez's throw, allowing Ventura to score.

Hagerstown finished with 12 hits as Pacheco and Butera added two each.

Before the game, the Suns had three roster changes. Outfielders Jonathan Sanchez and Joe Holden along with infielder Jonathan Schemmel were sent to Single-A Brooklyn in the New York-Penn League. In return, the Suns received outfielders Gamero and Paris Austin and infielder Armand Gaerlan. Last week, outfielder Elvis Cruz and pitcher Grady Hinchman were sent to Brooklyn and were replaced by Vogl and Domangue.

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