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Suns' mistakes lead to the end of their 4-game winning streak

May 01, 2008|By BOB PARASILITI

For one inning on Wednesday, the Hagerstown Suns ran a two-for-one special.

The blue-light special - six outs for the price of three - in the top of fifth inning was all the West Virginia Power needed to fully stock their offensive shelves.

West Virginia sent 11 hitters to the plate and scored six runs with the help of some defensive mistakes by the Suns - including two errors - to take a 9-5 victory and end Hagerstown's four-game winning streak in a Businessman Special matinee at Municipal Stadium.

"We came out flat and they just outplayed us," said Suns manager Darnell Coles. "You just have to tip your cap to them."

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But the Suns gave the Power a tip and a bonus, coming in the form of costly mistakes which prolonged the fifth inning.

"You give them more than three outs in an inning, it's trouble," Coles said. "You give them six and it's even worse."

It became as bad as it could for the Suns (12-13).

Hagerstown fell behind early as starting pitcher Brad Peacock (0-2) allowed two home runs in the first four innings for a 3-0 deficit.

The Suns came back in the bottom of the fourth with four hits to score two runs and get within 3-2. Aaron Seuss hit a one-out single and took second on Rob Bryson's wild pitch before scoring on Steven Souza's single. Souza scored by stealing second and third before coming home on another wild pitch.

Instead of riding a wave of momentum, the Suns were washed away by it.

It all started when Lee Haydel led off with a bunt down the third-base line that Souza picked up before it rolled foul. Brent Brewer followed with an RBI double into the left-field corner and scored on Zealous Weaver's one-out single up the middle for a 5-2 lead that chased Peacock.

Luis Atilano came on in relief and was greeted by a Caleb Gindl double. He moved to third on a grounder and scored on Curt Rindal's single that turned into a double. Rindal slipped rounding first, but the Suns threw wildly behind him to allow him to take second.

Ulrich Snijders reached on a popup in front of the mound that Souza tried to call Atilano off to make the play. The two nearly collided, with Souza dropping the ball for an error to allow Steffan Wilson to score.

The final two runs came when shortstop Dan Lyons threw away Scott Houin's grounder.

"We made a couple of mistakes that cost us," Coles said. "On a bunt like that, you need to let the ball roll to a stop before picking it up because you aren't going to throw the guy out. You still just have to tip your cap to them because my guys still came out and played hard."

The Suns came back with three runs against Luis Rivas (2-1) in the sixth. Hagerstown loaded the bases when Souza drew a two-out walk and Jake Smolinski and Stephen Englund both singled. A wild pitch scored Souza and advanced the runners for Travis Reagan's two-run double.

Rivas, Dan Merklinger and Wes Etheridge retired the Suns in order in the last three innings.

West Virginia took its 3-0 lead on Rindal's solo drive off the scoreboard in left center in the second and Gindl's two-run shot to right in the fifth, both off Peacock.

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