Suns win pitchers' duel with 5-run 8th

April 28, 2010|By BOB PARASILITI
  • Delmarva first baseman Tyler Stampone is pulled off the bag by a bad throw as Hagerstown's Francisco Soriano is safe in the seventh inning of Tuesday morning's South Atlantic League game at Municipal Stadium.
By Kevin G. Gilbert, Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN -- J.P. Ramirez gave a lesson in patience on Tuesday during Education Day at Municipal Stadium.

At the same time, he gave one in urgency, too.

After two at-bats filled with waiting for the right pitch, the Hagerstown left fielder ripped an RBI single on the first pitch he saw in the eighth inning to drive in the first run and break a scoreless tie. It ignited a five-run rally that lifted the Suns to a 5-0 victory over the Delmarva Shorebirds before 3,345 fans at the late-morning matinee.

The game sailed along as Hagerstown's Jack McGeary and Delmarva's Jesse Beal kept the offenses in check. The two teams combined for three hits -- one by the Suns -- through seven innings.

"It was a pitchers' duel for the most part," said Ramirez. "I looked up in the seventh inning and it was scoreless and thought we need a couple of runs or we'll be going into extra innings again."


While McGeary was lifted after seven innings of two-hit pitching, the Shorebirds decided to allow Beal to go back out in the eighth.

Destin Hood led off with a double to left-center field to set up Ramirez. Right then, all the patience left and urgency took over as he stroked Beal's first pitch to center field for the RBI. Delmarva center fielder Steve Bumbry fielded the ball cleanly but had trouble getting it out of his glove, making his throw home too late to get Hood.

"When it's tied up late in the game, you look for something elevated. I got it on the first pitch I saw," said Ramirez. "Hoodie got the double and I was just trying to put the bat on the ball to drive in the run."

It was the opening the Suns needed, as the next six batters reached base.

After Marcus Jones doubled to put runners on second and third, catcher Sandy Leon singled and center fielder Eury Perez drove in a run with a fielder's choice grounder that allowed Jones to beat second baseman Tyler Kelly's throw to the plate.

Beal was lifted for reliever Bobby Bundy, who walked second baseman Francisco Soriano to load the bases and set up a two-run single by shortstop Sean Nicol to cap the rally and the game.

"Hood's double was the key to the game," said Suns manager Matt LeCroy. "We had a runner on second with none out and it gave us a lot of options, but I had to let J.P. hit. He has been driving in a lot of runs for us."

The rally ended the Suns' attempts of playing small ball, the style that puts runners on base and moves them for a chance to score one run. Hagerstown had runners in scoring position twice earlier in the game but couldn't capitalize.

Wanel Vasquez (1-0) got the win for the Suns with two innings of relief. McGeary was the unfortunate recipient of a no-decision. The left-hander allowed two hits and a walk while striking out three.

"We played good baseball," LeCroy said. "That was the best game I've seen McGeary pitch since I have been here. He mixed his pitches well."

Beal (1-2) took the loss after allowing five runs on five hits -- four coming in the eighth.

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