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Suns close in on sweep of Captains

August 31, 2006|by TIM KOELBLE

Just maybe, some brooms will pop up throughout Municipal Stadium tonight when the Hagerstown Suns conclude their four-game series with Lake County.

On Wednesday, the Suns excecuted offensively in the final four innings to offset troublesome defense in the first four innings to post a 5-3 come-from-behind win over the Captains, their third straight over the Ohioans.

"We kept playing for nine innings," said Suns manager Frank Cacciatore after watching his team commit four errors that led to three unearned runs and a 3-0 deficit after four innings.

It didn't hurt Hagerstown that Lake County starter Ryan Edell - working on a pitch count as he returns from early-season arm problems - was yanked after four shutout innings.

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Doodle Hicks entered for the Captains and the Suns broke through, as Leivi Ventura was hit by a pitch and scored following singles by Jeff Voyles and Sean Henry, the bottom two batters in the lineup.

In the seventh, Voyles and Henry were in the middle of the action again as the Suns plated four runs on only two hits, taking advantage of a pair of Lake County throwing errors by catcher Max Ramirez.

Ventura and Drew Butera each walked to open the inning and Voyles put down a perfect bunt. Ramirez's throw to first sailed high, allowing Ventura to score and leaving Butera at third and Voyles at second.

Henry, in his 17th game as a Sun, singled to center, scoring two runs for a 4-3 lead. Henry moved to second on a sacrifice by Jose Castro, then took off for third on a steal attempt. Again, Ramirez threw wildly, allowing Henry to jaunt home for a 5-3 lead.

"Those were two great bunts by Voyles and Castro," said Cacciatore. "We executed the bunt and Sean got a great jump on the steal of third and those things helped make their catcher press the plays."

Eric Domangue (1-0) relieved Suns starter Waner Mateo in the seventh and became the winning pitcher as he wiggled out of a bases-loaded jam when the Suns turned an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.

Jim Wladyka toiled in the eighth inning and Ryan Meyers looked all-world in the ninth with his first save, mowing down the Captains in order with three strikeouts.

"(Meyers) has thrown bullets since he's gone to the bullpen ... more strikes ... more aggressive," said Cacciatore of Meyers, who went 3-10 as a starter.

Marte fought his way through six innings in search of his first victory in his 20th appearance. Mateo allowed only four hits, walked one and hit a batter, but was the victim of the Suns' four errors.

"(Marte) didn't have his best stuff early but he got stronger as the game went on and that's outstanding," said Cacciatore. "He didn't have much movement early and (Lake County) had crisp hits on him, but he got a feel for what he was doing in the middle innings and challenged them."

Notes: The Suns lost two pitchers for the final five games of the season. Brandon Nall was promoted to Class AA Binghamton of the Eastern League, and Kevin Tomasiewicz was promoted to high-Class A St. Lucie. "Nice rewards for both of them. ... They are deserving," said Cacciatore.

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