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Suns win opener

April 09, 2010|By BOB PARASILITI
  • Hagerstown's Francisco Soriano slides back into second base as Hickory's Mike Ortiz comes down with the late throw in the first inning of Thursday's game at Municipal Stadium.
By Ric Dugan, Staff Photographer

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    HAGERSTOWN -- So they say, "Into each life some rain must fall."

    For Daniel Rosenbaum, at least it held off for five innings.

    It was a good thing, too. Rosenbaum masterfully pitched 5 1/3 innings in the season-opening start on Thursday to lead the Hagerstown Suns to a 1-0 victory over the Hickory Crawdads before 4,103 fans at Municipal Stadium in a game that was rained out after 5 1/2 innings.

    The sun was definitely shining on Rosenbaum, who allowed two hits and one walk while striking out seven before being lifted after reaching an 82-pitch count. Both hits were bunt singles by Leury Garcia.

    "I felt good," said the left-handed Rosenbaum. "I worked a lot inside and my fastball was working well. The idea is to keep them on their toes and wondering what to expect. Pitching inside worked well."

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It was the best of all worlds for the Suns (1-0), who scored early to support Rosenbaum and give both the starting pitcher and manager Matt LeCroy everything they could ask for in an opener.

"It was everything I could ask for to start the season," Rosenbaum said. "I had a lot of adrenaline in the first inning and after I struck that first guy out, I started to settle down. It was the first time I pitched in front of a big crowd in a year."

LeCroy was looking for an uncomplicated opener. He said if he got a good pitching performance, some strong defense and a big hit, he would be satisfied.

He was satisfied.

"That was nice to watch," LeCroy said. "(Rosenbaum) threw inside, got ground balls and the tempo of his game was outstanding. The defense helped him out and we got the hit we needed."

Rosenbaum hit his stride in the second inning and retired 12 straight Crawdads -- six by strikeouts, including all three hitters in the fifth -- before losing his string by issuing a leadoff walk to Edwin Garcia in the sixth. Mitchell Clegg came on the earn the save by coaxing an inning-ending double play from Vinny DiFazio.

The Suns got their lead in the first inning off Hickory starter Joe Wieland.

Francisco Soriano hit a one-out double to right center in the first inning and trotted home when Steven Souza followed with a double to left center for the 1-0 lead that Rosenbaum protected.

"(Souza) has got to be our guy," LeCroy said. "He has shortened his swing. It was nice to see. He made an error in the field, but then he got in there and started a double play."

Wieland settled down after the first and limited the Suns to the one run on five hits and two walks while striking out two. Each team turned two double plays to help the pitching efforts.

It allowed the opener to establish a possible trademark for the Suns.

"Our team is built that way," LeCroy said. "We have speed and put the ball in play. If you play defense and pitch, you will always have a chance."

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