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Suns stay red-hot with rally in 8th

April 30, 2010|By ANDREW MASON
  • Hagerstown's J.P. Ramirez gives praise after tying Thursday night's game against Augusta with a solo home run in the seventh inning.
By Joe Crocetta, Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN -- When the Hagerstown Suns go for their 2,000th victory in franchise history tonight at home against the Augusta GreenJackets, the historic significance of the milestone might be lost on Matt LeCroy.

"I just like winning," the second-year Suns manager said. "I don't care if it's the 8,000th win or the first one."

LeCroy has had a lot to like recently.

The Suns rallied for three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning Thursday night to beat the GreenJackets 6-4 for their fourth straight victory -- and win No. 1,999.

Hagerstown, which lost five of its first seven games this season, is now 12-9 and in sole possession of second place in the South Atlantic League's Northern Division, just a half-game behind Lakewood (13-9).

"We've really come together as a group," LeCroy said. "I have a lot of young kids on this team, and they're learning every day. It's fun. They're young and energetic and come out here every day and work hard and play as hard as they can."

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The Suns showed their resiliency Thursday, twice overcoming deficits.

Augusta (12-10), which led 2-0 early, took a 4-3 lead in the top of the eighth on Daniel Cook's two-run blast off reliever Wanel Vasquez (2-0).

Hagerstown quickly answered in the bottom half against GreenJackets reliever Ryan Verdugo (0-1). Sean Nicol drew a leadoff walk, went to third on a single by Brett Newsome and scored on a single by Justin Bloxom to tie the game at 4.

Verdugo then recorded a pair of strikeouts, before walking Marcus Jones to load the bases.

Sandy Leon then greeted Jason Jarvis, Augusta's fourth pitcher of the night, with a two-run single up the middle for a 6-4 lead.

"It was a 1-2 count. I was waiting for the fastball, and I got it," said Leon, who had two of the Suns' eight hits. "I got lucky."

Dean Weaver pitched a scoreless ninth for his third save of the year.

After cutting their deficit to 2-1 in the third, the Suns scored two in the seventh for a 3-2 lead. J.P. Ramirez's third home run of the season --a two-out, solo shot to right --tied the game at 2. Jones and Leon followed with back-to-back singles, with Jones scoring the go-ahead run as Eury Perez reached on an error.

Luke Anders led off the second inning with a solo homer off Suns starter Daniel Rosenbaum for a 2-0 Augusta lead.

Rosenbaum went six innings for the no-decision.

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