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Marrero's blast gets fireworks started

May 26, 2007|By BOB PARASILITI

Chris Marrero is a man with an agenda.

The ultimate goal is to play for the Washington Nationals. But on Friday, the Hagerstown Suns right fielder was living for the moment.

And he made sure that moment was the final one of the game.

Marerro blasted the first pitch he received from Delmarva reliever Jose Maria. It curled around the left-field foul pole for a 12th-inning, one-out, walk-off home run for a 9-8 victory before 3,379 fireworks-starved fans at Municipal Stadium.

"We were all tired," Marerro said. "I just wanted the get the hell out of here."

And he did it in dramatic fashion to end a 4-hour, 15-minute marathon which had 17 runs, 29 hits and seven errors - six by the Shorebirds, who used 10 pitchers.

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Add to the drama of it all, the Suns front office was 12 minutes shy of an 11 p.m. curfew which would have prevented the fireworks show.

And, oh yeah, Marrero was trying to get home to see his family, which had just arrived from Miami to see him for the weekend.

"I'm just having fun," Marrero said. "My family got here late today. I just want to keep hitting the ball like I have while they are here."

The Suns could stand for that, too.

Marrero is hitting .405 in 22 games at Municipal Stadium, an average which went down after his 2-for-6 night on Friday. He has hit nine of his 12 home runs at home.

"I don't know. This feels like home," Marrero said. "It's been wonderful, but I've been lucky, too. There is a lot of luck in baseball."

As luck would have it, Maria served up a first-pitch fastball to Marrero's liking after Delmarva had spent much of the day pitching around the Nationals' top pick from the 2006 draft.

The Suns were lucky - and good - to prolong the game in the 11th inning.

Delmarva worked the bases loaded with one out aganst Chris Lugo, Hagerstown's fourth pitcher of the night. It looked like the Shorebirds were about to take the lead when Chris Vinyard blasted a fly to right that was caught by Marerro at the fence.

All of Delmavra's runners tagged and tried to advance on the out. Marrero threw to second to get Brandon Tripp as he moved up from first. Home plate umpire Matt Arcovio ruled that the third out was recorded before Danny Figueroa crossed the plate from third base, keeping the game tied.

It made a winner of Zach Baldwin, who came on in the 12th and retired the Shorebirds in order to set up Marrero's deadline beater.

It was a see-saw battle that started with Delmarva jumping off to a 4-0 lead in the second off Suns starter Cory VanAllen. The Shorebirds chipped away with five hits, highlighted by Pedro Florimon's two-run single and David Cash's RBI triple.

Hagerstown fought back against Delmarva starter Pedro Beato with runs in the second and third, followed by three runs in the fifth. Marcos Cabral put the Suns ahead 5-4 with his two-single.

The Suns came back from an 8-5 deficit in the eighth to tie the game with three runs, highlighted by Joe Napoli's two-run triple and Francisco Guzman's game-tying sacrifice fly off Chad Thall.

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