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Suns Notebook: Selik remains top magnum on Suns staff

April 30, 2011

What’s the best way to sum up Cameron Selik?

Just say “nothing.”

And that would be a compliment without understating a thing.

Selik has been masterful as an ace starting pitcher for the Hagerstown Suns. In fact, it would be very difficult for him to be any better.

The right-hander from the University of Kansas has kept opposing hitters on their heels in his first starts, heading into his scheduled outing on Saturday against the Rome Braves.

He has a 0.00 ERA in four starts. That’s right, he has yet to allow a run — earned or unearned — in 23 innings, but only has a 2-0 record to show for it.

Selik, last week’s South Atlantic League pitcher of the week, struck out 23 and walked just three and teams are hitting .185 (15-for-81) against him.

He has been vicious on right-handed hitters, allowing a .145 average on just nine hits while striking out 20. When a team does manage to get a runner on base against Selik, they’re batting just .114 against him.

Lost in the shadows is Taylor Jordan, who is 5-0 this season in four starts and one relief appearance. The right-hander — Washington’s 2009 ninth-round pick — carries a 2.25 ERA overall, allowing 21 hits and six walks while striking out 14. As a starter, his ERA drops to 1.64.

The pair account for seven of the Suns’ 13 victories. They have worked 47 innings, allowing six runs on 36 hits while striking out 37 for a 1.15 ERA.

Take Selik and Jordan out of the Suns rotation and the team ERA jumps more than a full run from 4.30 to 5.41.

Getting better

Brett Newsome has had trouble keeping his batting eye sharp while playing a utility role. He was 0-for-13 to start the season, but started turning it around by making an important out.

Newsome hit a game-winning sacrifice fly on April 18 to give the Suns a 1-0 victory over Lakewood. It didn’t exactly ignite the free agent who signed with the Nationals in 2008, but it did create a spark.

Newsome is 3-for-13 (.231) since driving in that winning run, but his three hits — all in the last week — have made some impact.

The first hit was an RBI double against Hickory on April 23 and the other two were home runs that led to wins in the recently completed series with West Virginia.

Setting his sights

Bryce Harper is seeing the ball very well.

The Nationals top prospect is 13-for-27 (.481) with five doubles, four home runs and 11 RBIs since he began wearing contact lenses on April 20. He has also drawn five walks while striking out seven times. His batting average has jumped 98 points in that time.

For the season, Harper is hitting .333 with 22 hits, including six doubles and five home runs, with 18 RBIs, 11 walks and 19 strikeouts.

Suns spots

 * Outfielder Wade Moore has reached base in 15 consecutive games.

* Pitcher Bobby Hansen bounced back by pitching six innings in a win over West Virginia on Friday. He was coming off a loss to Hickory in which he allowed six runs in two-thirds of an inning.

* Blake Kelso leads the Suns with eight multihit games. He has played three infield positions and batted in five spots (1,2, 6, 7, 9) in the batting order.

* The Suns are 6-1 in one-run games and are 10-0 when leading after seven innings.

Bob Parasiliti covers the Hagerstown Suns for The Herald-Mail. He can be contacted at bobp@herald-mail.com or at 301-791-7358.

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