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Ramsey's single in 11th lifts Suns

April 09, 2012|By BOB PARASILITI | bobp@herald-mail.com
  • Hagerstown Suns outfielder Rick Ankiel, left, high-fives teammate Michael Morse, right, after Ankiel's home run against the Lexington Legends in Monday's South Atlantic League game at Municipal Stadium. Ankiel and Morse were in Hagerstown preparing to rejoin the Washington Nationals.
By Colleen McGrath/Herald-Mail Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — Caleb Ramsey doesn’t look like Michael Morse, but he was just as effective for the Hagerstown Suns on Monday.

Ramsey, who replaced the rehabbing Morse in the seventh inning, hit a two-out single in the 11th inning to lead Hagerstown to an 8-7 victory over the Lexington Legends before 624 fans at icy Municipal Stadium.

Bryce Ortega and Jason Martinson each singled and stole a base to set up Ramsey, who stroked a shot to right field to score Ortega for the winning run off Luis Cruz.

It was a tougher victory than one would think since the Suns’ lineup featured Morse and Rick Ankiel, a pair of Washington Nationals outfielders who were in town to complete a rehabilitation assignment from injuries.

Both Morse and Ankiel had an impact in the game before leaving — Morse in the eighth and Ankiel in the ninth.

Bobby Lucas retired the Legends in order in the 11th to earn the victory.

Lexington jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first against Suns starter Chris McKenzie. Delino DeShields Jr. drew a leadoff walk, stole second and took third on a grounder before scoring on Jordan Scott’s sacrifice fly to left.

The Suns stormed back with four runs in the bottom half with a lot of help from Lexington starter Kyle Hallock, who never made it out of the inning.

Martinson and Ankiel drew leadoff walks and Morse loaded the bases on a high-chop single to second base to set the stage for Matt Skole’s mammoth grand slam over the right-field wall on an 0-1 fastball for a 4-1 lead.

Hallock followed by walking Cole Leonida and Brett Newsome before being lifted for Zach Grills.

The Suns added two runs in the second to take a 6-1 lead, but it came at a price.

Designated hitter Brian Goodwin — one of the Washington Nationals’ two 2011 first-round draft selections — legged out a single on a grounder to first and came up lame after crossing the base. He left the game immediately and was replaced by Justin Miller. Martinson reached on a fielder’s choice and scored when Ankiel cleared the right-field fence for a two-run homer.

The Legends got two runs back in the third on back-to-back doubles by DeShields and Alex Todd, who eventually scored on a one-out single to center by Zach Johnson to cut the deficit to 6-3.

The Suns got one of the runs back in the fourth as Miller led off with a triple off the fence in left against Lexington reliever Nick Tropeano and scored on Ankiel’s one-out single up the middle.

Tropeano pitched five innings, allowing one run on five hits while striking out 10 to slow down the Suns. Hagerstown struck out 18 times.

Lexington tied the game by batting around in a four-run seventh against Hagerstown reliever Greg Holt, who was hurt by two Suns errors.

Drew Muren reached on second baseman Bryce Ortega’s error and DeShields walked before Todd hit a ground-rule double to bring in the first run. After Scott walked to load the bases, Zach Johnson cleared them with a two-run single to left that Morse misplayed to allow Scott to score for a 7-7 tie.

Todd Simko replaced Holt and notched three straight outs to make the Legends strand runners on second and third.

Morse left the game after seven innings, going 2-for-4 — both infield singles — with a run scored.

Ankiel was 2-for-4 with a home run, two walks and three RBIs.

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