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BlueClaws follow golden rule to thump Suns

One day after being pummeled, Lakewood returns the favor in rout of Hagerstown

One day after being pummeled, Lakewood returns the favor in rout of Hagerstown

April 23, 2008|By Bob Parasiliti

Baseball is a game of give and take.

Sometimes you give the beating. The other times you take it.

The Hagerstown Suns gave it on Monday and took it on Tuesday.

Lakewood returned all of the favors the Suns enjoyed on Monday by jumping out to an early lead from the first batter and grinding out a 10-3 victory.

"We jumped on them early (Monday) and they jumped on us early today," Suns manager Darnell Coles said. "We did it to them yesterday and they did it to us today."

Moral of the story: Paybacks are a ... well, a payback.

Lakewood leadoff hitter Herman Demmink started it all by hitting Cole Kimball's fourth pitch of the game over the right-field wall for his first professional home run to open the onslaught.

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From there, Demmink, Derrick Mitchell and Dominic Brown -- the top three batters in the BlueClaws' order -- combined to go 8-for-16 with seven RBIs, seven runs scored and two walks to keep the Suns covering up and counterpunching the entire night.

Lakewood scored in four of the first six innings, with single runs in the first and fourth and three-run rallies in the third and sixth to take a 8-1 lead.

It was similar to the path the Suns took on Monday, when a three-run first inning led to a 6-2 victory.

"You got to be able to stop them," Coles said. "You can't go out there stealing and running for extra bases when you go down early. You have to play station-to-station and wait for the hits in the gap. You don't want to run yourself into outs."

Lakewood starter Chance Chapman kept the Suns in check with one run on four hits, and did it by making Hagerstown hit the ball on the ground.

Ten of the 18 outs Chapman (1-1) collected were via ground balls. Another four came by strikeouts in his six-inning stint.

"Their pitcher mixed it up well," Coles said. "He was able to keep the ball down and work both sides of the plate. He started out with a one-strike count most of the day. Our guys have to learn to be a little more patient."

The BlueClaws worked Kimball (1-1) for three runs in the third on a two-run double by Brown -- who finished 3-for-6 with four RBIs -- and eventually scored on a wild pitch for the 4-0 lead. Brown added an RBI single in the fourth for a 5-0 lead.

The Suns got one run back off Chapman in the fifth when Michael Burgess led off with a double to right center and scored on Jhonatan Solano's two-out single to cut the deficit to 5-1.

But Lakewood answered with three runs off reliever Erik Arneson on another RBI single by Brown and Matt Rizzotti's two-run single.

Hagerstown got two runs off Lakewood reliever Yen-Feng Lin in the eighth when Solano led off with a walk and Francisco Plasencia doubled to set up Dan Lyons' two-run single.

Lakewood closed the scoring in the ninth with two runs off Kyle Gunderson on Mitchell's two-run single.

Kimball struggled over 3 2/3 innings despite only allowing one walk, but he hit two batters. He allowed five runs -- four earned -- on six hits. Clint Everts, the third Suns reliever, pitched 1 1/3 innings of hitless ball.

"Everts pitched well and Plasencia and Burgess swung the bat well," Coles said. "Those were positives. This is only the 19th game in a 140-game season. You just have to take it as it is."

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