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Hoppers hit it where Suns aren't

May 06, 2008|By BOB PARASILITI

It was one of those nights.

No matter where Hagerstown was positioned on the Municipal Stadium field, Greensboro found a way to hit the ball where the Suns weren't.

There's an old saying for that kind of baseball.

"They hit it where we weren't," Suns manager Darnell Coles said. "It was a rough night."

The Grasshoppers had their share of big hits, but it was the 15 well-placed singles - along with five walks - that did the Suns in on Monday in an agony-filled 14-7 loss.

Outside of two well-clobbered home runs, the rest of the night resembled a Chinese water torture chamber ... rip, rip, rip. Grounder between third and short. Grounder between first and second. Flair to short outfield.

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Greensboro hit the ball hard, but it was more a matter of being well-placed.

"(Greensboro) swung the bats very well," Coles said. "You have to tip your cap to them. They are a good team. They play hard. And they play hard to the last out."

The Grasshoppers (16-14) scored all their runs in the first six innings - getting on the board in every inning but the third. The tablesetters - leadoff hitter Hunter Mense, No. 8-hitter Ryan Curry and No. 9-hitter Ozzie Martinez - did most of the damage to the Suns.

Mense was 4-for-7 with three runs scored and two RBIs. Curry was 3-for-3 with three walks and four runs scored. And Martinez was 4-for-6, including a two-run home run to left in the second - with two RBIs and two runs scored.

Bottom line: A grand total of 11-for-16 with four RBIs and nine runs scored.

"We left some pitches up and they swung the bats well," Coles said. "They did everything right. They had one of those games."

Starter Brad Peacock (0-3) lasted 3 2/3 innings and left after allowing six runs on six hits. Ryan Harrison, the Suns' newest pitching addition, debuted by allowing eight runs on eight hits in 1 2/3 innings. After Kyle Gunderson came in to calm the storm, the Suns turned to a position player to pitch in the second straight game.

Tim Pahuta pitched the ninth, a day after Trevor Lawhorn came out of the bullpen in Sunday's 11-5 loss.

Greensboro took a 1-0 lead in the first when Mense led off with a double and eventually scored on Bryan Petersen's sacrifice fly.

The Suns (15-16) came back with two runs in the first off starter Hector Correa, with Boomer Whiting - who joined the Suns on Monday, replacing the promoted Francisco Plasencia - leading off with a single before moving to third on Jake Smolinski's ground-rule double to center. Bill Rhinehart drove them in with a double to left for a 2-1 lead.

Martinez's homer gave Greensboro a 3-2 lead in the second, but the Suns answered with three runs on a two-run double by Whiting, who rounded the bases on a throwing error by Martinez to give the Suns a 5-3 lead.

"Whiting did a nice job," Coles said. "He's a quality player. The only reason he wasn't here from the beginning was because he was in extended spring working on switch hitting."

Greensboro took control with three runs in each of the fourth and fifth innings and a five-run sixth. Mike Stanton highlighted the sixth with a monster drive over the center-field wall.

The Suns got as close as 9-7 with two runs in the fifth on an RBI grounder by Aaron Seuss and run-scoring double by Pahuta.

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