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Suns battle to the end in loss

April 15, 2010|By BOB PARASILITI

HAGERSTOWN -- Drive in competition has two names. If you win, it's called aggressiveness. If you lose, it's called battling.

Unfortunately, the Hagerstown Suns were forced to battle to the end.

The Suns fell behind 10-2 on Wednesday and scored seven runs in the last three innings, leaving the tying run at third as the game ended, to take a 10-9 loss at the hands of Lakewood at Municipal Stadium.

"They battled," Hagerstown manager Matt LeCroy said. "We got in a hole by eight runs, but I'm proud of the guys. They stayed in the game and we had a chance in the end. That's all you can ask."

The question almost never reached LeCroy's lips.

Lakewood scored in four of the first seven innings -- including four runs in the seventh -- off Hagerstown starter Josh Smoker and reliever Colton Willems. Sebastian Valle blasted a two-run home run to right and Anthony Hewitt greeted Shane Erb with a two-run single to center for the 10-2 lead.

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Lakewood (4-3) built its lead in quick-hitting fashion as seven of its 13 hits went for extra bases -- four doubles, two triples and a homer.

"(The BlueClaws) took advantage of our mistakes," said LeCroy. "We left the ball up and they got doubles and triples. It just proves that you can't leave the ball up in any league."

Somehow, the Suns (2-5) worked back into the game.

Francisco Soriano had an RBI double, followed by Steven Souza's two-run double down the left-field line off Lakewood reliever Siulman Lebron to cut the gap to five in the bottom of the seventh.

Souza cashed in with a two-run triple in the eighth off Jacob Diekman to bring the Suns within 10-7.

The Suns nearly tied the game in the ninth in the most absurd of ways.

Destin Hood and J.P. Ramirez both legged out singles on bouncers off the plate against Lakewood closer Jordan Ellis. After pinch-hitter Adrian Nieto drew a walk to load the bases, Sandy Leon spun a 30-foot, broken-bat grounder down the third-base line for an RBI single.

The Suns got to within a run on Eury Perez's bases-loaded double play grounder. Jeff Kobernus struck out with Nieto on third to end the game.

"You got to play to the end," LeCroy said. "We had things going, but the double play hurt us."

Lakewood starter Jarred Cosart (2-0) got the win, allowing two runs on four hits in 5 1/3 innings. Smoker (0-2) took the loss, allowing five runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innnings.

Valle drove in three runs for Lakewood, while Souza had two hits and four RBIs for the Suns.

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