Miller joins Suns' power company to help jolt Legends

July 08, 2012|By BOB PARASILITI |

HAGERSTOWN — Justin Miller can hit home runs.

He has seven on the season, but no one in Hagerstown has seen one go out of Municipal Stadium.

Until Sunday, that is.

Miller showed a bit of his power in the fourth inning as his leadoff shot to left ignited a three-run rally to lift the Hagerstown Suns to a 6-3 victory over Lexington to complete a five-game sweep of the Legends.

Miller had trotted around the bases six times before Sunday, all on the road. It was a topic of conversion in the press box before the game.

His ears must have been burning.

Miller lined the shot to left off Lexington starter Jonas Dufek to break a 3-3 tie. It was the third of three for the Suns, who lead the South Atlantic League.

Sam Palace followed with a single to right before Bryce Ortega walked. After Billy Burns hit into a fielder’s choice, Palace scored on Caleb Ramsey’s single and Burns scored on Cutter Dykstra’s grounder to third for the three-run advantage, which ended up becoming the margin of victory.

The Suns (54-33, 12-6) have won five straight games. Despite sitting in second place in the SAL Northern Division standings, they own the division’s best overall record.

Lexington jumped out to the early lead with three first-inning runs against Hagerstown starter Bobby Hansen Jr.

Nick Fontana drew a one-out walk and took second on a two-out single by Matt Duffy. Justin Gominsky caught a break when he grounded a shot down the first-base line and off the bag for an RBI double. Mike Kvasnicka grounded a single up the middle to drive in both runners for a 3-0 lead.

The Suns tied the game in the bottom of the inning in more spectacular fashion with their other two homers.

Billy Burns led off against Lexington starter Jonas Dufek with a bunt down the third-base line for a single. He remained there until Matt Skole launched a two-out shot to right for his South Atlantic League-leading 21st home run of the season.

Steve Souza followed suit with a blast to left center for back-to-back homers — his 15th of the season — to tie the game at 3-3.

The bullpen came to the rescue to help the Suns maintain their lead.

Hansen was lifted with two in scoring position and one out in the fifth for Richie Mirowski, who struck out the first two Lexington hitters to end the threat.

Mirowski (2-0) earned the win with three innings of work before leaving with the bases loaded and one out in the seventh. Greg Holt came on and got Kvasnicka hit into an inning-ending double play on his first pitch.

Holt pitched the final 2 2/3 innings to earn his second save.

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