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Delmarva demonizes Suns, 6-4

April 18, 2008|By BOB PARASILITI

For now, they are called demons.

The little plays -- the missed defensive assignments, the lack of hits in the clutch, the off-the-mark pitches -- that end up being the difference between winning and losing for the Hagerstown Suns.

All was going well for Hagerstown until the last two innings Thursday. Suddenly, the demons put on ... well, a demon-stration that knocked the Suns out. Two Hagerstown errors in the last two innings allowed Delmarva to score three unearned runs for a come-from-behind 6-4 victory at Municipal Stadium.

"We swung the bats better today and we pitched pretty well," said Suns manager Darnell Coles. "We got hurt by something we work on all the time -- a second baseman covering first on a bunt. We made a couple of mistakes. They are young. We have to take it and move on.

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"We didn't come through in a bases-loaded situation. It was a matter of trying too much. We have to battle those demons."

The little bugs are forcing the Suns to play like a team possessed instead of being a team possessed.

Hagerstown (6-8) scored a run in the fourth and three in the fifth to take a 4-3 lead, thanks mostly to the relief pitching of Clint Everts, who kept the Suns in the game.

Everything began to unravel for the Suns in the eighth inning after Tyler Henson's leadoff single. Wally Crancer pushed a sacrifice bunt to the right of the mound with pitcher Atahualpa Severino (0-1) making the play. He turned and fired to second baseman Jake Smolinski, who failed to catch it at first base and allowed the ball to roll down the right-field line.

Henson circled the bases on the throw. Crancer scored on Pedro Florimon's single for a 5-4 lead.

Delmarva (8-6) capped the comeback in the ninth when Joe Mahoney drew a two-out walk and gave way to pinch runner Calvin Lester. Henson hit a grounder to third baseman Steven Souza, who bobbled it and threw wildly to first, allowing Lester to score.

"The ball was hit hard," Coles said. "He didn't panic, but the runners were running and speed kills. He just didn't get his arm up and threw sidearm. It sailed. Those things happen."

Delmarva scored three runs off Suns starter Cole Kimball in the second as two one-out walks set up Joe Nowicki's two-run double. Henson followed with a two-out RBI single.

Kimball struggled and left with one out in the fourth after allowing five walks. Everts came on for 2 2/3 innings of no-hit pitching.

Hagerstown got on the board when Bill Rhinehart led off the fourth with a double off Delmarva starter Luis Noel. One out later, Michael Burgess tripled off the center-field wall for the RBI. The Suns loaded the bases, but failed to take advantage.

The Suns chased Noel in the fifth as Francisco Plasencia led off with a home run to right. Hagerstown cashed in on a second bases-loaded situation with a single by Smolinski and a Tim Pahuta groundout for the 4-3 lead.

Delmarva's Brian Parker (4-0) won in relief while Mick Mattaliano picked up his fourth save.

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