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Suns sweep BlueClaws

June 11, 2008|By BOB PARASILITI

Dan Lyons and Bill Rhinehart each have a little Hollywood in them.

Lyons might be a little more Tinseltown than Rhinehart, but even that is debatable.

Lyons had a Robert Redford moment with a key double in the fifth inning of Tuesday's first game to give the Hagerstown Suns the lead in a 5-2 victory over Lakewood at Municipal Stadium.

Rhinehart just about topped it, though, in the nightcap by hitting a three-run homer to center to seal a four-run seventh and give Hagerstown a 4-3 win in the nightcap.

Throw in a well-timed thunderstorm and it all but knocked the BlueClaws out of the chase for the South Atlantic League Northern Division first-half title.

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Lakewood came to town to face the mathematically eliminated Suns in a four-game series. Hagerstown took the first three games of the series, including both ends of the doubleheader prompted by a rainout in the series in New Jersey last week.

The BlueClaws had the lead in both games, but couldn't hold off the Suns, the top hitting team in the SAL.

Lakewood held a 2-1 lead heading into the fifth behind starter Drew Naylor, who was just trying to get through the inning in a rainstorm to make the game official.

Instead, the Suns rallied and did it by collecting a team cycle in four hitters.

With two outs, Valerio Heredia started with a single to left as the rain started to pick up. Boomer Whiting tied the score with a triple in the right-field corner.

But Lyons did his rendition of The Natural to put the Suns in line for the victory. With the rain driving and lightning crackling all around Municipal Stadium, Lyons cracked a double to center field to put Hagerstown on top, 3-2.

A lightning strike during Rhinehart's at-bat started a 33-minute delay. When the game resumed, Naylor came back with an 0-1 count on Rhinehart. The Suns first baseman worked it to 2-2 and fouled off a couple of pitches before launching a two-run homer to right to seal the victory.

Suns starter Justin Jones lasted until the sixth to get the victory with the help of two dominating innings by Dan Leatherman in relief to earn the save.

In the nightcap, Lakewood scratched out a 3-0 lead against Suns starter Erik Arnesen.

Lakewood brought on closer Jared Simon to try and save the lead and the victory.

With one out, Jake Rogers drew a walk and scampered to second when Whiting's popup was dropped by first baseman Matt Rizzotti. Lyons followed with an RBI single to left to bring the Suns to within 3-1 as the runners moved up to second and third on the throw.

It came down to Rhinehart, who blasted his second homer of the night, just to the right of center field to steal the victory.

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