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Holder pays off in Suns' win

May 20, 2010|By BOB PARASILITI

HAGERSTOWN -- Trevor Holder got a win and a save on Wednesday.

The win was the official designation for the job done by the Hagerstown Suns' starting pitcher. The save would be honorary for making the play that preserved his win.

Holder's cool, calm and collected approach to Joey Wong's grounder to the mound with none out in the sixth inning ended up as the final, and much needed, nail for the Suns' 2-1 victory over the Asheville Tourists before a sellout crowd of 5,433 fans in a morning Education Day matinee at Municipal Stadium.

And the win was, in large part, for what Holder didn't do.

"He didn't panic," said Suns manager Matt LeCroy. "He gave himself a chance."

Holder (3-1) was nursing the one-run lead heading into the sixth inning when Eliezer Mesa led off with a line drive to right-center that skipped past center fielder Eury Perez for a triple. It gave the Tourists (14-24) the tying run on third with none out.

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Holder, slightly tilted by the sequence, brought out the safety net.

"The ball took an unfortunate hop to get by Eury," Holder said. "My thought was to try and get the next batter to get some weak contact."

Wong hit a bouncer back to Holder, who caught Mesa a third of the way down the third-base line. He fought the urge to throw the ball to third baseman Steven Souza and ran at Mesa, freezing the baserunner in his tracks. It ended up in a rundown that erased Mesa for the important, run-saving first out.

"Wong is a good contact hitter and I threw him a two-seamer to get some weak contact back to third base, shortstop or me," Holder said. "Luckily, it came to me. I looked to third and saw he was trapped. It's hard on that play because the adrenaline is rushing. I saw him and wanted to throw to third, but I pulled it down and ran at him."

It was the Tourists' last good chance to tie the game. Holder pitched seven innings, allowing one run -- a second-inning homer to Kent Matthes -- on four hits, while striking out four. Rob Wort pitched the final two innings for the save.

"That was the biggest play in my mind," LeCroy said. "I thought we mishandled the ball into a triple. Holder pitched a real good game. He was drafted out of Georgia and now he is starting to become the pitcher we drafted."

Hagerstown (21-18) took a 1-0 lead in the first. Francisco Soriano led off with a slap single to short, took second on a wild pitch and scored on Justin Bloxom's two-out single to center.

The Suns broke a 1-1 tie in the second when J.P. Ramirez reached on a throwing error by Asheville third baseman Helder Valazquez, who scored from first on J.P. Higley's bloop double down the left-field line off Asheville starter Chris Balcom-Miller (0-1).

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