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Suns give a lot, take a beating

June 30, 2007|By BOB PARASILITI

The Hagerstown Suns are in a give-and-take portion of their season.

They have been giving a lot and can't take it any more.

Hagerstown must have felt like it was clubbed by a four-by-four on Friday as four wild pitches in the third inning and four unearned runs led to a 12-8 loss to Lake County before 3,517 fans at Municipal Stadium.

The random acts of charity put the Suns (29-46) at 0-8 in the second half of the South Atlantic League season and buried them under a nine-game losing streak.

"It's tough to win when you are giving runs away," said Suns manager Tommy Herr.

The generosity even renders big rallies useless for the Suns.

It started in the third inning when Hagerstown, holding a 3-0 lead, handed it back to the Captains. Lake County's five-run outburst came when starter Don Levinski's control suddenly went AWOL.

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Levinski set down the first six Captains he faced in the first two innings with his sharpness. The edge dulled in the third when he allowed three hits, walked two and hit another batter to stock the bases.

His four wild pitches helped cleared them.

"It's hard to explain sometimes," Herr said. "He just lost the feel of his curve in the third inning."

Jason Denham drove in the first run with a grounder to first after the first wild pitch advanced Lake County runners. The rest of the stage was set by an odd RBI single by Adam Davis.

Davis dribbled a slow roller down the first-base line that Levinski slid to field. Davis hurdled the pitcher and beat the throw to first for the hit.

"That play might have affected him," Herr said. "The guy made a nice play and the guy still beat the throw."

The Captains station-to-stationed runs the rest of the way with the help of Levinski's wildness to take a 5-3 lead.

It wasted what was one of Hagerstown's most potent flashes of offense of the second half in the first inning against Lake County starter Paulo Espino. Marvin Lowrance mashed a two-run homer over the center-field wall following Robby Jacobsen's one-out bunt single for the quick lead.

Leonard Davis followed with another bunt single and eventually scored on a throwing error by third baseman Beau Mills.

The Suns tied the game at 5 in the third on Leonard Davis' leadoff homer and a sacrifice fly by Brett Logan, Hagerstown's newest addition at catcher.

Lake County separated itself from the Suns in the fourth when Fernando Pacheco - who went 4-for-5 - homered in the fourth to chase Levinski. The Captains added a three-run shot by Adam Davis off Chris Lugo in the fifth. All three runs were unearned thanks to a fielding error by Logan.

The Suns made another run at Lake County in the sixth with the help of three doubles off Captains reliever Matt Robinson. Mike Martinez singled and Francisco Plasencia doubled with one out to set up Jacobsen's run-scoring grounder and back-to-back RBI doubles by Lowrance and Leonard Davis to cut the deficit to 9-8.

Lake County capped the win with three runs in the ninth off Todd Wilkie. The Captains were helped along the way by a fielding error by Leonard Davis - Hagerstown's 132nd of the season.

"We kept coming back and were swinging the bats well, but you can only come back so many times," Herr said. "Soon you run out of opportunities and enthusiasm."

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