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Power's pitching causes Suns to black out

June 08, 2013

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The South Atlantic League Northern Division lead is becoming a hot potato.

Everyone wants it, but no one can hold it.

The Hagerstown Suns lost their grip on it on Saturday as Eric Wood hit an RBI double in the sixth inning to support a two-hit effort by West Virginia’s pitching staff to lift the Power to a 1-0 win.

Orlando Castro (7-3) held Hagerstown hitless until two outs in the fifth inning. He allowed two hits and struck out five without allowing a walk over seven innings.

The loss just turned the first-half division chase into a give-and-take situation.

The Suns (33-26) lost for the seventh time in nine games, but still held a half-game lead over Hickory heading into Saturday.

The Crawdads were swept by Greenville in a doubleheader which ended late Friday to allow Hagerstown to regain the division lead.

But Hickory won 5-1 on Saturday, trumping the Suns’ loss, to regain the half-game advantage. West Virginia is in third, one game off the lead.

The Suns have nine games in the last eight days of the half, including the series finale with West Virginia today. Hagerstown returns home to face Hickory in a crucial four-game set, starting with a doubleheader on Monday.

West Virginia (33-38) broke through for the game’s only run in the sixth against Hagerstown starter Nick Lee (1-2).

Walker Gourley led off with a single to left and advanced to third on Dilson Herrera’s sacrifice bunt to third baseman Khayyan Norfork.

Gourley held at third on Josh Bell’s infield single to shortstop Stephen King, but scored on Wood’s two-out double to right.

The Suns managed to get one runner into scoring position.

Estarlin Martinez hit a two-out single in the fifth and stole second before Wes Schill struck out to end the inning.

Castro allowed Pedro Severino a leadoff single in the sixth as Hagerstown’s only other hit.

Lee allowed a run on seven hits in six innings, while striking out three. Cody Davis and Bryan Harper each pitched hitless innings.

West Virgina’s Ryan Hafner struck out two in the eighth before Kyle Haynes set the Suns down in order in the ninth for his sixth save.

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