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VanAllen finally gets his victory

June 12, 2007|by TIM KOELBLE

Cory VanAllen finally got what he has been missing all season in Hagerstown - the taste of victory.

The left hander went seven innings without allowing an earned run or a walk while scattering five hits as the Hagerstown Suns beat Lakewood 7-6 on Monday night at Municipal Stadium in the opener of a seven-game homestand.

VanAllen allowed three runs in the third inning when the Hagerstown defense basically gave away a 3-0 lead with two of its four errors.

VanAllen turned in his longest outing on 87 pitches and then watched Josh Wilkie toss 1 2/3 innings for his fourth save.

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"It's like taking a deep breath and 'Wow, you finally got one,'" said VanAllen, who struck out four. "I wanted to come out for another inning, but I know we're on pitch counts. I really felt strong."

Manager Tommy Herr concurred.

"(Cory) had a good changeup and, being a power pitcher that keeps it in the 90s, hitters have to be aware of his velocity," said Herr. "He was around the plate all night."

The Suns struck in the first inning against Lakewood starter Carlos Monasterios on a walk to Justin Maxwell, wild pitch and single by Marcos Cabral for a 1-0 lead.

Hagerstown added two in the second on a leadoff double by Joe Napoli, who scored on a bunt single by Lenoard Davis and an error by Lakewood's Kevin Howard. Davis moved to third on the play and eventually scoring on a sacrifice fly by Michael Martinez.

After Lakewood's three spot in the third, the Suns came right back on Chris Marrero's 14th home run, which became his last as a Sun because of a promotion to Single-A Potomac. His blast far over the upper wall in right centerfield led off the inning.

Davis drove in Brett McMillan with a double in the fifth inning and Napoli, who had singled and moved to third on Davis' hit, scored on a sacrifice fly by Erick San Pedro.

A seventh run came in the sixth on a single and stolen base by Maxwell, who reached third on a throwing error by BlueClaws catcher Tuffy Gosewisch on the steal attempt. Maxwell scored what proved to be the winning run on a passed ball.

Joe Welsh was brought in to start the eighth, but he issued a walk and two hits and was hurt by a fielding error that allowed a run.

Wilkie came on and after shut down the BlueClaws after a Maxwell throwing error allowed two runs,

"We gave away four, five runs with our defensive play," said Herr. "Wilkie did a nice job."

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