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Suns overly charitable with Captains

April 21, 2007|By BOB PARASILITI

When it came to games, the Hagerstown Suns didn't fare too well on Friday.

In the game of give-and-take, the Suns gave too much and took too little.

And because of that, in the game of baseball, Hagerstown lost.

Lake County's Matt Whitney drove in five runs with a home run and two doubles to lift the Captains to a 10-4 victory over the Suns before 2,753 Stamp Out Tobacco Night fans at Municipal Stadium.

The Captains stamped out the Suns, who doled out fat pitches in key situations and failed to take advantage when they had the bases loaded, going 0-for-5 in two separate situations.

"We fell too far behind again," Suns manager Tommy Herr said. "We can't keep asking the offense to come from that far back every time."

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Lake County scored all of its runs in the second through fifth innings, mostly against Suns starter Yunior Novoa. There was no middle ground for Novoa (0-2), who found trouble when he was pitching ahead or behind in the count.

"He made a few mistakes when he had the 0-2 counts and got hurt on 2-0 counts," Herr said. "You can't pitch like that. When you are ahead 0-2, you can't be making mistakes, and when you are down 2-0, you can't be throwing it in there."

Whitney was the prime benefactor of Novoa's meltdown.

Lake County's first baseman led off the second with a home run on an 0-2 pitch to start a three-run rally. He ripped his first double for an RBI off another 0-2 pitch in the third for a 4-0 lead.

He capped his night with a three-run double off a 2-0 pitch to highlight the five-run fourth inning. All three shots were to center field.

Meanwhile, once again, the Suns failed to do anything offensively until they were way down, this time trailing 9-0 before Leonard Davis led off the fourth with a home run. It started a three-run rally as J.D. Reininger hit a sacrifice fly and Joe Napoli doubled to drive in runs.

But that rally was a drop in the bucket for what could have been.

The Suns loaded the bases in the second with no outs against Lake County starter Jeanmar Gomez and failed to score. Gomez got Erick San Pedro to pop to second, Reininger to hit into a force at home and Mike Martinez to ground to first to escape the jam without allowing a run.

"We had a chance for a big inning in the second with the bases loaded and none out and came up empty (while trailing 3-0)," Herr said. "Things might have played out differently if we had got a big inning there. Then it might have been anyone's game down the stretch."

The Suns loaded the bases again in the ninth against the Captains' Matt Meyer as San Pedro walked, took third on Martinez's double and scored on Napoli's infield single. Mike Daniel walked to load the bases, but Brett McMillian struck out and Justin Maxwell fouled to first to end the game.

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