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Suns sweep DH from Augusta

July 21, 2011|By BOB PARASILITI | bobp@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — It was the Hagerstown Suns’ turn to buy on this Thirsty Thursday and they set up Augusta with doubles all around.

The Suns got two good starting pitching performances and a pair of game-changing two-run doubles to double up with a pair of victories over arguably the hottest team in the South Atlantic League.

Adrian Sanchez got the key two-base hit in the opener before Jason Martinson poured it on with one in the nightcap as the Suns scored a 4-2, 3-0 doubleheader sweep over the GreenJackets, ending Augusta’s 11-game win streak.

“We did a good job pitching all day, holding that team to two runs for the night, especially as hot as they have been,” said Suns manager Brian Daubach.

Sanchez and Martinson were the hitting stars, but the starts provided by Matt Swynenberg and Ryan Demmin in tight situations put the Suns (55-42, 15-12) in position to win for the second and third time in the last 10 games.

Swynenberg (3-0) went five innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits, while striking out three during a spot start in the opener, followed by Demmin (1-1), who made his first start for Hagerstown with five shutout innings with two hits, two walks and seven strikeouts.

“It was great,” Daubach said. “Swyenenberg gave us his longest outing of the season in the first game and then we got two good innings out of (Wilson Eusebio). That set us up for the night.”

It made every run count for the Suns, who broke out of a short funk of hitting with runners in scoring position. If Martinson proved anything in the nightcap, he does follow directions and is calm while doing it.

Hagerstown broke a scoreless tie with three runs in the fourth off Augusta starter Justin Schumer (5-5) by using a pair of walks and two doubles.

David Freitas started the rally by drawing a leadoff walk and moved to second on Russell Moldenhauer’s one-out walk. Martinson stepped in and blew the game open by spanking a double down the left-field line to score both runners for a 2-0 lead.

“It’s always good to get a base hit, especially in crucial situations,” Martinson said. “They have been talking since the All-Star break about hitting with runners in scoring position. Pitchers usually try to throw you breaking stuff in those situations, so you want to jump on the first fastball you see. You want to be aggressive, but be patient.”

Wade Moore blooped  a hit over to head of third baseman Josh Mazzola into short left for an RBI double to complete the rally and give the Suns the three-run lead.

“Marty has been more aggressive at the plate,” Daubach said. “He has a really good eye up there.”

Demmin turned the game over to Tyler Hanks and Christopher Manno, who kept Augusta at bay. Manno collected his 12th save with his one inning of work.

In the opener, Sanchez hit a two-run double with two outs in the fifth inning to provide the Suns with the winning runs.

Mills Rogers led off with a bunt single to third and took second on Michael Taylor's one-out single to center. After both runners advanced when Augusta starter Gasper Santiago (3-4) fired a two-out pickoff try on Rogers into center field, Sanchez follow with a shot that glanced off third baseman Adam Duvall's glove and down the line to score the go-ahead and winning runs.

“Sanchez has been hot since the All-Star break,” Daubach said. “He had three hits last night and another three today.”

The GreenJackets (16-11, 47-50) grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second inning as Mazzola connected for his ninth home run, a one-out solo shot over the wall in left field. Augusta took a 2-0 lead in the third by scoring when Duvall hit a hard shot through third baseman Blake Kelso's legs.

The Suns tied the game in the fourth, starting with Freitas' 11th homer of the season, a line shot down the left-field line. Martinson drew a two-out walk and stole second before scoring on Sean Nicol's ground single to left.

Eusebio pitched the final two innings for the Suns to earn his fourth save.

Sanchez went 3-for-6 with two RBIs in the doubleheader.

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