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Published: Sunday, 7/6/2003

Mud Hens unable to squeeze out win

BY JOHN WAGNER
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Syracuse's Jimmy Alvarez slides into the plate — and the ball — as Toledo catcher Yohanny Valera can't handle the throw from left fielder Ernie Young. Alvarez scored from second on Mike Colangelo's two-out single in the seventh inning. The run tied the score at 3-3. Syracuse's Jimmy Alvarez slides into the plate — and the ball — as Toledo catcher Yohanny Valera can't handle the throw from left fielder Ernie Young. Alvarez scored from second on Mike Colangelo's two-out single in the seventh inning. The run tied the score at 3-3.
ALLAN DETRICH Enlarge

Give Mud Hens manager Larry Parrish full credit for trying to win a game in which his team managed only five hits.

But when the hits dried up after the sixth, so did Parrish's workload. And the Hens' chances of victory dried up too, as Syracuse rallied for a 10-inning, 4-3 victory before a sellout crowd of 10,300 at Fifth Third Field.

How barren was the Hens' offense?

  • Toledo had only one batter come to the plate with a runner in scoring position: Jhonny Perez batted in the fifth while Brandon Inge stood at third base.

  • The Mud Hens, who entered the game with the worst team batting average in the International League, finished with four singles and a home run - and never had more than one hit in an inning.

  • After Hiram Bocachica drilled a solo homer with two outs in the sixth, three Syracuse pitchers retired 13 of Toledo's last 14 batters.

    “I kind of felt like the Maytag repairman standing out there at third,” Parrish said.

    But whenever Parrish had a runner on base, he put that runner in motion.

    Bocachica, who reached when he was hit by a pitch in the fourth, was running on Ernie Young's single to left and scored all the way from first. Inge, who singled to lead off the fifth, stole second and went to third on a throwing error before scoring on a sacrifice fly to center by Perez.

    Syracuse scored twice in the sixth thanks in large part to a fly ball to deep center off the bat of Jayson Werth.

    Gene Kingsale broke the wrong way on the ball, then wasn't able to recover as the fly ball fell for a double that put runners on second and third.

    Kevin Cash made that misplay hurt when he slammed a two-run double into the right-field corner.

    Bocachica's home run in the sixth gave the Hens another lead, but the SkyChiefs rebounded with a single run in the seventh. With runners on first and second and two outs Mike Colangelo lined a single off reliever Franklyn German that scored the tying run. Young in left picked up the ball and fired a strike home, but Yohanny Valera was unable to handle the throw as Jimmy Alvarez slid in safely.

    The SkyChiefs' winning run in the 10th scored when reliever Eric Eckenstahler walked Colangelo with one out. Colangelo stole second, then came home on a bloop single to right by Cash.

    It looked as if Bocachica might be able to catch Cash's hit, but the ball instead dropped in front of him. Bocachica then wasn't able to handle the ball cleanly and could not make a throw to the plate.

    “We did everything we could to stay in the game with what we had [scored],” Parrish said. “And if we had played outfield defense well, it would have been enough. That run in the seventh, we'll give them that run. But that's the only run they should have scored.”

    NOTES: Last night's sellout was the team's 12th this season and the 39th in the two-year history of the ballpark. The Hens have sold out five of their last six home games. ... After 40 home dates this season the Hens are just 140 fans behind the record-setting attendance pace of a year ago.



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