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Suns clean up at home

April 13, 2008|By BOB PARASILITI

The sign of a good team is the ability to stay calm while the world seems to be coming apart.

The Hagerstown Suns were able to stay Zen on Saturday. Lake County couldn't. Neither could Municipal Stadium.

Starting pitchers Colten Willems and Cole Kimball handcuffed Lake County's offense while the Captains' pitchers unraveled in a 2-0, 8-0 doubleheader sweep.

And not to be undone, Hagerstown's 77-year-old stadium decided to blow out at the seams, too. It wasn't earth shattering ... more like window shattering.

During a Lake County pitching change in the fourth inning of the nightcap in the blustery, windy evening, one of the Plexiglas windows from the press box became dislodged and broke as it tumbled onto the netting behind home plate. It slid down the netting and nearly hit Hagerstown's Stephen Englund as he stood in the on-deck circle.

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The game was halted for about 10 minutes as the Suns' ground crew got the plastic remnants off the net.

It might have been better if the game didn't resume for the Captians. Lake County pitching allowed 12 walks and uncorked four wild pitches to help the Suns make the most of 10 hits on the evening.

Meanwhile, Willems (1-0) -- one of the Washington Nationals' first-round picks in the 2006 draft -- kept the Captains off-balance for six shutout innings, allowing only three hits while striking out four. Besides the three singles, only one ball left the infield. Martin Beno pitched the seventh for the save.

Kimball backed Willems up in the second game, allowing four hits over five shutout innings. Lake County got only two balls out of the infield against him.

All nine Lake County hits on Saturday were singles.

The Suns' offense scratched out the runs in the opener and swung the bats in the nightcap to take the wins.

In the first game, Hagerstown (5-3) broke the scoreless tie in the fourth when Michael Burgess walked, move around to third on two wild pitches before scoring on Englund's sacrifice fly to left.

Lake County starter Chris Archer (0-1) struggled, allowing six walks in 4 1/3 innings.

The Suns got their insurance run in the sixth when Aaron Seuss was hit by a pitch from Kyle Landis, moved to third on Burgess' single and scored an Englund double.

In the nightcap, the Suns took care of business early.

They got a run in the first on Bill Rhinehart's home run to right -- his third of the season -- off Lake County starter Jonathan Holt for a 1-0 lead.

The wheels began to come off for the Captains in the third when Travis Reagan led off with a walk and scored on Dan Lyons' double to right. One out later, Rhinehart doubled to right to score Lyons.

Holt was lifted after giving Burgess a two-out intentional walk, giving way to Josh Judy. After his warmups and the window incident, Judy's first pitch was wild, allowing Rhinehart to score for a 4-0 lead.

Judy walked four straight Suns in the fourth, with Lyons working for the free RBI on an 11-pitch at-bat. Jake Smolinski followed with a grounder to second baseman Michael Valadez to score one run. Valadez threw the ball away to allow the eighth and final run to score.

Rhinehart was 3-for-3 with three RBIs in the nightcap.

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