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Cole's pitching adds fuel to spark Suns

August 13, 2011

SALISBURY, Md. — A.J. Cole charted pitches for the Hagerstown Suns on Friday.

It was obvious on Saturday.

Cole struck out nine in five scoreless innings to lead the Suns to a 2-0 victory over Delmarva.

The 19-year-old right-hander followed the path of Matt Grace, who allowed one hit over seven scoreless innings — taking a no-hitter into the fourth inning — in what became a 6-1 victory on Friday.

Cole (4-6) handcuffed the Shorebirds, retiring seven of the first 10 hitters by strikeout, including five of six over the second and third innings.

Delmarva was hitless until Jacob Julius led off the fifth with a ground single past Sanchez into right field. The hit was harmless as Cole struck out Garabez Rosa and Riley Hornback to end the inning and his outing.

Cole was lifted after the fifth inning, allowing one hit and one walk while striking out nine. He only faced two hitters over the minimum.

Hagerstown (65-52, 25-22) won its third straight game, moving to within four games of Kannapolis in the South Atlantic League Northern Division’s second-half standings. The Suns finished 12-7 against Delmarva in the season series.

The Suns jumped out to a 1-0 lead quickly in the first inning as Blake Kelso hit a one-out triple to right off Delmarva starter Jarret Martin (5-9). Adrian Sanchez brought home Kelso with a grounder to short for the RBI.

The Suns picked up an insurance run in the ninth off Delmarva reliever Kyle Simon. Kelso drew a walk and took second on Sanchez’s sacrifice bunt before David Freitas drew a base on balls. Kevin Keyes followed with a double off the wall in center field to put the Suns up 2-0.

Dean Weaver pitched the ninth and set Delmarva down in order for his second save. Suns pitchers combined for 13 strikeouts.

The Suns, who managed just five hits, were led by Mills Rogers with two.

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