Rogers comes through in a 'Big' way for Suns

August 28, 2010|By BOB PARASILITI

Mills Rogers is no Tom Hanks, but you couldn't tell by the number of autographs he was signing.

The Hagerstown Suns' third baseman starred in his own version of "Big" on Friday night.

Rogers hit a key bases-clearing triple in the fifth inning to go with some stellar plays defensively to lead the Suns to a 10-7 victory over Delmarva before 4,612 fans, the 15th sellout at Municipal Stadium this season.

Rogers' hit turned a 6-5 deficit into an 8-6 lead and Hagerstown (26-35, 62-69 second half) never looked back.

"It felt good," said Rogers, one of the newer late-season additions to the Suns. "It was a big hit in front of a big crowd and it gave the team the lead for good."

J.P. Ramirez and Brett Newsome led off the bottom of the fifth with singles off Delmarva starter Pat Kantakevich (0-8). Justino Cuevas reached on a throwing error by shortstop Garabez Rosa to load the bases and set up Rogers' drive to the right-field fence to erase a one-run deficit. He scored on Adrian Nieto's single to right to give the Suns a 9-6 lead.


"When I hit it, I knew it was in the gap and figured it was good for two," Rogers said. "I saw it hit the fence and then they fumbled it around out there, so I said why not try (to got for third base)."

The inning put a sudden calm on a game that was like a Wild West shooting gallery. There were hits aplenty -- 22 in the first five innings -- to go with the 15 runs that were on the board.

"(Suns starter Evan) Bronson gave up some ground ball hits and we got some, too," said Suns manager Matt LeCroy. "It was definitely a hitters' battle."

Before getting the decisive hit, Rogers kept the Suns in the game with his glove. He made a diving stop in the fourth to start a double play that ruined Delmarva's chances to score after putting two on with one out.

In the fifth, he made another diving stop and got Levi Carolus in a rundown between second and third. The Shorebirds scored their sixth run on the play, but the play stunted the chances of a big inning.

"We call that 'damage control,'" LeCroy said. "That play stopped what could have been a big inning, but it limited them to just the one run on the play (and two in the inning)."

Delmarva (25-36, 57-74) gave all indications of picking up where it left off in Thursday's 7-1 victory. The Shorebirds took a 3-0 lead in the first as Trent Mummey hit a one-out triple to left and scored on Carolus' one-out RBI single. Austin Rauch followed with a single to set up Omar Casamayor's two-run double down the left-field line.

The Shorebirds made it 4-0 in the second on T.J. Baxter's sacrifice fly to score Rosa, who led off with a single.

The Suns batted around for five runs in the bottom of the second. Newsome drew a leadoff walk to set up Justino Cuevas' two-run homer to left. Eury Perez drove in the third run on an RBI single after one-out hits by Nieto and Marcus Jones. Jones scored on a throwing error by Kantakevich and Adrian Sanchez plated Perez with a grounder to second.

The Shorebirds took a 6-5 lead in the fifth when Mummey scored on a wild pitch by Bronson before Rauch added an RBI grounder, but it could have been worse without Rogers' diving stop.

"I had a few tough ground balls hit to me early," Rogers said. "Bronson kept battling his butt off to keep us close and he got them to keep hitting me grounders and we got some big double plays."

The Suns added a run in the eighth against Delmarva reliever Brian Parker as Perez reached on a single, stole second and scored on Sanchez's one-out single.

Delmarva picked up a final run in the ninth off Suns reliever Kyle Morrison. Bronson (4-2) went six inning for the win and Morrison pitched three innings for his first save.

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