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Suns feast on Power for comeback win

July 28, 2010|By BOB PARASILITI

The Hagerstown Suns earned a home-style victory Tuesday.

Justin Bloxom provided the meat. Destin Hood supplied the potatoes.

It made Tuesday's game nothing but gravy for Hagerstown designated hitter J.P. Ramirez, who hit a sacrifice fly with no outs in the 10th inning to give the Suns a 5-4 come-from-behind victory in a morning matinee at Municipal Stadium.

"It was too easy," Ramirez said. "That was big because Bloxom got the momentum started and Destin got that hit. It just made my job easier."

It was like standing in a fresh buffet line for Ramirez.

Bloxom led off the 10th with a single off West Virginia reliever Zach Foster (4-3). Hood came up with the Power outfielders playing their trademark shift to right field and deposited a double down the left-field line to put runners at second and third.

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"It was the first pitch on the outside corner," said Hood, who finished with three hits, including a solo home run in the sixth. "They always (shift like) that and it leaves a big hole in the outfield. I knew that hit was trouble because I got it to left field."

That brought up Ramirez in a situation players dream about. Instead of issuing a walk to load the bases, Foster elected to come after Ramirez.

"I figured they would walk me for the chance to get a double play," Ramirez said. "But then he came after me. I was looking forward to the challenge."

Foster left no doubt about his intentions, firing a strike to the outside corner on his first pitch.

"I was looking for a ball middle-in to try and pull," Ramirez said. "But when he came at me, I just adjusted and he came back at me with a pitch in the same spot."

Ramirez made solid contact on a fly to medium left-center field that left fielder Rogelio Noris caught, allowing Bloxom to beat the throw to the plate with the winning run.

It ended a comeback from a 4-1 deficit for the Suns (45-57 overall, 12-20 second half).

"I've seen that situation played both ways," said Suns manager Matt LeCroy. "I've seen the batter get walked, but on this level, it's tough for pitchers to work with the bases loaded. There isn't any room for error. With the infield in like that, you are just hoping for something to get past them or a deep fly ball. I was more excited about Hood's hit, though."

The double topped a complete turnaround of fortunes for Hood, who started the game with two grounders to short. He hit his homer over the wall in dead center and added a single before the setup double in the 10th to finish a three-hit day.

"I just tried to put a good swing on (the homer)," Hood said. "I was tired of hitting grounders to short. My timing got better as the game went on. I haven't been hitting the ball the way I want. I'm just trying to do something different each time to scratch something out."

The game opened as a duel between West Virginia starter Jason Erickson and Hagerstown's Paul Demny.

Demny held a 1-0 lead through four innings -- provided by Jeff Kobernus' RBI single in the third -- until he ran into trouble.

Jesus Brito opened the fifth with a single and Evan Chambers was hit by a pitch after the first out. The Power cashed in with a two-out, two-run double by Jose Hernandez, followed by a first-pitch, two-run homer to right by Aaron Baker for a 4-1 lead.

The Suns battled back with Hood's homer in the sixth and two runs in the seventh to tie the game.

Eury Perez reached on a bunt single with two outs and Kobernus walked to end Erickson's day. Rick Hague greeted reliever Justin Ennis with a two-run double down the left-field line.

"Hague had the biggest hit of the game," LeCroy said. "We have to take advantage of their mistakes. I like getting out front big early, but it's great to battle back."

Kyle Morrison pitched two innings and gave way to Rob Wort, who pitched two hitless innings to earn the victory. Kobernus and Hague finished with two hits each.

"That was a total team effort," LeCroy said. "We got the pitching and the timely hitting. It shows that the guys are doing the things they need to move up. As a manager, you want that feeling."

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