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Opportunities pass Suns by

August 26, 2010|By BOB PARASILITI

When it came to having chances, the Hagerstown Suns could have had a yard sale.

They had more than enough in stock and didn't use the majority of them.

The Suns didn't convert when they needed to and elected to bypass one final possibility on Wednesday in a 4-3 loss to Delmarva at Municipal Stadium.

Hagerstown (61-68, 25-34 second half) went 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position, wasting prime scoring possibilities in the sixth and ninth innings. Add to it one option manager Matt LeCroy had a passing second thought about, and it made for a frustrating night.

"We just didn't do well with our situational hitting," LeCroy said.

The last opportunity had storybook ending written all over it for Hagerstown. The Suns just failed to fill in the happy ending.

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Eury Perez led off the ninth by grounding a single in the hole at second base off Delmarva reliever James Brandhorst. The Suns outfielder stole his 53rd base to reach scoring position and took third when Rick Hague flew out to left.

That gave Hagerstown two chances to produce the tying run.

Adrian Sanchez had the first shot and hit a grounder to Delmarva second baseman Omar Casamayor in a drawn-in infield. Casamayor got to his feet after diving to field the ball, which allowed him to freeze Perez at third while completing the out at first.

"If I had sent him on contact, he scores," LeCroy said. "I wanted to give (J.P.) Ramirez a chance. You want to get a hit to get that run."

Ramirez was the likely candidate after going 4-for-4, all singles, with two RBIs heading into the at-bat. Brandhurst got Ramirez to ground his 2-1 pitch to second to end the game.

"We just didn't execute," LeCroy said.

It was the final nail in a coffin that the Suns built for themselves earlier in the game.

Hagerstown had a prime shot at blowing the game open in the sixth. Brett Newsome and Justino Cuevas led off the inning with singles and Sandy Leon reached on a throwing error by Shorebirds reliever Will Startup (1-0) to load the bases with none out.

Startup struck out Marcus Jones and Perez and got Hague to pop to short to end the threat.

"When we had the bases loaded, I thought we were going to take the game over," LeCroy said. "(Startup) has been in Triple-A and been around a lot in his career. He just didn't panic."

The Suns took a 1-0 lead in the first off Delmarva starter Matt Hobgood as Hague led off with a double and scored on Ramirez's first single.

Delmarva (56-73, 24-35) tied the game in the second against Suns starter Paul Applebee (5-5) as Mike Flacco led off with a single to left and took second on a Ramirez fielding error. He advanced to third on Levi Carolus' single and scored on Casamayor's RBI hit.

The Shorebirds took a 3-1 lead in the third on an RBI triple by Trent Mummey, who later scored when Tyler Kelly reached on a throwing error by Hague.

The Sun made it 3-2 in the bottom of the inning on an RBI grounder by Sanchez.

Delmarva regained the two-run lead in the fourth on an RBI groundout by Mummey. The Suns got to within 4-3 in the fifth against Startup on another double by Hague and single by Ramirez.

"Applebee did his job and gave us a chance," LeCroy said. "We had the bases-loaded and didn't score and we didn't score the tying run at the end. ..."

Applebee lasted 6 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on 12 hits while striking out four. Wanel Vazquez allowed two hits over the final 2 2/3 innings. Startup got the win while allowing a run on five hits in three innings while striking out six.

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