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Crawdads snatch win from Suns

April 20, 2011|By BOB PARASILITI | bobp@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — The Hagerstown Suns found out that Momentum is a fickle guy.

He only stays around the team that gives him the most attention. The Suns ignored him on Wednesday.

Hagerstown failed to fully capitalize on a bases-loaded situation with none out in the third, allowing Hickory to come back and score seven unanswered runs en route to a 8-3 victory before 866 at Municipal Stadium.

The Suns (9-4) were only able to push across one run in the prime opportunity and it spelled the end of their three-game winning streak and allowed Hickory (9-4) to move into tie for first place in the South Atlantic League’s Northern Division.

“We had our chances to come up and stretch the lead and didn’t take advantage of it,” said Suns manager Brian Daubach. “We couldn’t get the one big hit.”

Bryce Harper started the inning with a single up the middle off Hickory starter Nicholas Tepesch. Harper took third on David Freitas’ single before Hagerstown loaded the bases when Mills Rogers was hit by a pitch.

With one out, Blake Kelso rapped an infield single to deep short to score Harper, but Jason Martinson ended the rally with an inning-ending double play as the Suns settled for a 3-1 lead.

“Their pitcher made a couple of big pitches to get out of some situations early,” Daubach said.

The missed opportunity caught up with the Suns in the sixth at Hickory began to connect against Hagerstown starter Matt Grace (1-2). The Crawdads scored four runs, paced by Joshua Richmond’s RBI double followed by Odubel Herrera’s run-scoring triple to chase Grace and assume a 5-3 lead.

“Grace was battling his control most of the night,” Daubach said. “Then in the sixth, he started getting too much of the plate.”

Hickory added three runs in the eighth for good measure off Suns reliever Chad Jenkins, highlighted by a two-run double by Tomas Telis.

The Suns took a 2-0 lead in the first as Adrian Sanchez started the rally by ripping a one-out single to right center. Harper followed with a grounder into right field, but when the Crawdads were slow in retrieving the ball, he hustled into a double to put runners on second and third.

David Freitas cashed in on Harper's aggressiveness with a two-run single.

Hickory got a run back in the third as Jacob Skole hit a two-out triple off the center-field wall and scored on Telis' line single to right.

Hickory’s bullpen shut the Suns down on two hits in the final five innings. Colby Killian (2-0) got the win with three innings of hitless relief.

Harper finished 2-for-5 for the game with two runs scored and a strikeout. He is now hitting .250.

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