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Power cool off Suns in rout

May 01, 2007|by TIM KOELBLE

Coming off a three-game sweep of Delmarva, it looked like the Hagerstown Suns' momentum was going to carry over into the beginning of a four-game set against South Atlantic League Northern Division leader West Virginia on Monday night.

Even after the Power (17-4) scored in the first inning for a 1-0 lead, the Suns charged right back to take a 2-1 lead in their half of the first.

But things swung the way of West Virginia, as the Power used a four-run third inning and a monster nine-run fifth to fuse the Suns 14-3 in front of 936 fans and win their 10th game in the last 11 outings.

"(West Virginia) has some hitting and speed throughout the lineup and that creates some problems," said Hagerstown manager Tommy Herr.

The Suns will need to find a way to diffuse the Power - who are batting .290 as a team - over the next week. After a trip to Delmarva beginning Friday, the Suns (9-15) play four more aginst West Virginia in Charleston.

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Chris Lugo received a spot start for the Suns, his second of the year, and deserved a little better fate.

Darren Ford, the ninth-leading hitter in the South Atlantic League at .344, blooped a fly to right that Francisco Guzman lost in the sun. He eventually scored on a two-out double by Chuck Caufield.

The Suns came right back with a leadoff walk to Alexis Nunez, who promptly scored when Stephen King authored an RBI double on a rope to left. King then scored on a single by Chris Marrero.

In the third, Brent Brewer reached on an infield hit that the Suns should have turned into the second out. Two hits later, Caufield drove in Brewer and the Power took a 5-2 lead when Ken Holmberg smashed a drive over the fence in right.

"If we get that out in the first and make the play in the third, West Virginia maybe scores one run," said Herr.

Lugo went four innings before giving way to Juan De Los Santos, who had an short outing that he'll hope is short on his mind.

In two-thirds of an inning, De Los Santos was racked for six hits, walked two and gave up eight earned runs as the Power scored nine times and sent 14 batters to the plate.

"We lost (Marco) Estrada when he got called up to start at Potomac, so we gave Lugo the start," said Herr. "We were hoping to get four or five innings from Lugo and we got four. He really didn't throw that bad.

"That (fifth) inning just really got away from us."

The Suns got one run back in the sixth when Nunez smacked his fourth home run of the season.

Mike McClendon, who loosened up during a Suns pitching change in the fifth, pitched six innings for the Power, allowing five hits and walking one.

The Suns bullpen allowed one run on four hits over the final four innings.

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