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GreenJackets' pitching puts Crick in Suns' offense

May 06, 2012|By BOB PARASILITI | Staff Correspondent

HAGERSTOWN — Kyle Crick got everything he deserved on Sunday.

Taylor Hill didn’t.

Crick allowed one hit over six shutout innings while Hill fell victim to a pair of unearned runs in the first inning as Augusta held down the Hagerstown Suns for a 4-1 victory before 1,643 fans at Municipal Stadium.

Augusta’s starter set the tone as he teamed with three GreenJackets relievers to limit the Suns to three hits while ending Hagerstown’s four-game winning streak.

Crick (1-1), a 2011 first-round selection for the San Francisco Giants, overpowered the Suns at times to finish with eight strikeouts. His last two starts have come against the Suns, who have only three hits and 16 strikeouts in 10 innings against the right-hander.

The Suns (16-12) got their only hit off Crick in the first inning as Caleb Ramsey, the second batter of the game, singled to right-center. After that, Crick retired 15 of the last 20 batters he faced, only allowing Hagerstown to reach base with three walks and two hit batters.

The Suns had runners in scoring position in four of those innings but couldn’t deliver.

Meanwhile, Hill (3-2) didn’t deserve his fate as he controlled Augusta for five innings despite allowing three runs, though two were unearned. He allowed five hits and walked one, only the third free pass he has allowed in 25 innings.

Hill got himself into a hole in the first inning, dug himself out and got pushed back in as the Suns fell behind because of two unearned runs in the top of the first inning.

Augusta loaded the bases with a combination of singles — including a bunt by Shawn Payne and an infield hit by Ben Thomas with one out.

Taylor struck out Brett Krill for the second out and looked to have escaped the GreenJackets’ threat when he got Michael Mergenthaler to ground to second, but Hendry Jimenez bounced his throw past first baseman Brett Newsome to allow two runs.

The Suns needed a diving grab by Steven Souza on Garrett Buechele’s sinking liner to right to prevent further damage.

Mergenthaler gave Augusta (13-15) a 3-0 lead in the fourth when he hit a one-out drive over the right-field fence for his first home run of the season.

The Suns got a run off Augusta’s bullpen. DeMondre Arnold opened the eighth inning with walks to Jimenez and Cutter Dykstra before being immediately lifted from the game.

Augusta manager Lipso Nava gave the ball to Steven Neff, who nearly got out of the inning unscathed.

Ramsey flew to right to advance Jimenez to third and Justin Masterson struck out, but Neff couldn’t get past Matt Skole, who hit a hot shot under first baseman Ben Thomas’ glove into right field to get the Suns on the board with his South Atlantic League-leading 34th RBI.

Augusta got the run back for a 4-1 lead in the ninth against reliever Chris McKenzie on a two-out single by Kelby Tomlinson and a double off the left-field wall by Jose Cuevas.

Cody Hall closed the game for Augusta to earn his seventh save. He allowed a leadoff single to J.P. Ramirez in the ninth, but struck out Brett Newsome before getting Cole Leonida to ground into a game-ending double play.

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