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Suns fail to cash in at home

August 14, 2010|By BOB PARASILITI

When it comes down to it, opportunities are like Honus Wagner baseball cards.

Both are rare and valuable.

The Hagerstown Suns didn't have the cards, but had many chances, only to blow them like a week's worth of lunch money. Greensboro made the Suns pay, starting with a seven-run fourth inning, on Friday night in a 10-2 victory in front of Hagerstown's 12th sellout of the season at Municipal Stadium.

The Suns squandered prime scoring situations in each of the first three innings, managing only one run because of three double plays.

"We had our chances to blow it open early and we hit into two double plays and made a running mistake," said Suns manager Matt LeCroy. "You don't get many chances in these games. That gave their pitcher the momentum and their team the momentum.

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"Those opportunities are valuable and you have to make the best of them."

Greensboro starter Erick Carrillo (5-5) lived the life of an escape artist, squirming out of the Suns' three prime situations practically unscathed. He pitched seven innings, allowing one run on five hits to get the victory.

Hagerstown starter Paul Demny wasn't as lucky.

The Suns fell apart in the fourth, allowing 12 Greensboro hitters to come to the plate to score seven runs on seven hits, with the help of a variety of Hagerstown mistakes.

Chase Austin started the parade with a two-run homer to left. It snowballed from there.

Rand Smith followed by drawing a walk, took second on Jose Torres' sacrifice bunt and advanced to third on a passed ball. He scored on Carlos Paulino's double to chase Demny in favor of Shane McCatty.

McCatty didn't fare much better. Jose Duarte greeted him with a single to set up Wes Long's sacrifice fly for a 4-0 lead. Jeff Corsaletti hit a triple to right that Suns outfielder Destin Hood lost in the lights and Kyle Jensen doubled to drive in runs. The inning was capped with a double steal, with Jensen stealing home.

"There were a lot of mental errors in that inning," LeCroy said. "That's what happens when you don't put a team away. When you don't do it so many times, they come out and score and it takes all the energy out of you."

Hagerstown took a 1-0 lead in the third when Rick Hague led off with a double and scored on Hood's two-out double after Greensboro turned its third of four double plays on the night.

The Grasshoppers added single runs in the fifth, sixth and eighth innings to take a 9-1 lead. Duarte hit a run-scoring double in the fifth and Chad Cregar had an RBI single in the sixth.

Jensen hit a solo shot off Josh Smoker in the eight to move to a 10-1 lead.

The Suns got a run off Greensboro reliever Isaac Morales in the eighth as Hague led off with a single and scored on Hood's second double.

Demny lasted 3 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on six hits despite striking out five. McCatty allowed five runs on eight hits in his 2 1/3 innings. Smoker, who is a converted starter, gave up the homer but struck out four in two innings.

"The good thing about baseball is you come back out and play tomorrow," LeCroy said. "We got a young team here and they just have to come out and clean some things up."

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