McCann, Suns win after delay

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PITTSFIELD >> There was a one-hour sun delay at Wahconah Park before the first pitch was thrown Friday night. It didn't seem to bother Suns starter Jamin McCann at all.

"After being here for three years" sun delays don't bother him, McCann said. "I just try to keep focused, go in and do my job.

"I just relaxed for a little while. About 30 minutes before we started, I started throwing again."

The left-hander from East Tennessee State held the Bristol Blues to four hits over seven innings, giving up one run on a home run. He struck out seven. Gage Feeney and Declan Cronin followed with shutout innings as the Suns beat the Blues 5-1 for their third straight win.

"It's still early, but we're starting to build something, definitely," said Colin Ridley, the Suns' designated hitter Friday. "If we keep doing the little things right, then we'll be all set."

McCann had only one hiccup in the game, giving up a leadoff home run to Bristol's Frankie Gregoire in the second inning. It was the third pitch Gregoire saw, and he drove it over the fence in left, just to the right of the Pittsfield bullpen.

McCann did pitch out of a two-out jam in the fifth, but after giving up a leadoff single in the sixth, he retired the final six hitters he faced. The lefty's night was done when James Brown looked at strike three. Four of McCann's seven strikeouts were called.

"My curveball was probably my best pitch," said McCann. "My fastball had a lot of run to it, but I didn't have great control. It was enough to get ground balls."

"Jamin? I think that's the best I've seen him so far," said Ridley, who watched from the dugout. "The past two times he's been out, he's been really good. Tonight he was really good at getting outs, getting guys to ground out and fly out."

All of that might have gone for naught, had the Suns not finally gotten to Bristol starter Phil Versteeg. The lefty took a perfect game into the fifth and had no hit the Suns through almost six innings. Thomas Hughes broke up the no-hitter with an RBI single, plating Brian Moskey. One inning later, the Suns exploded.

Sam Spadafore had come on in relief, and the Suns rocked him right off the bat, so to speak. Colin Gimblet doubled to left and scored on a base hit by Ridley. John Nollet singled and Ridley eventually scored on a throwing error by Bristol right fielder Chris Morris.

"In the previous at-bats I was really struggling," said Ridley, who came into the game hitting .160 and had struck out twice. "I was just looking for a fastball over the plate that I could hit. It worked out."

The Suns got some additional insurance in the eighth inning, scoring two runs on three hits and two hit-batters. Chris Cimmino drove in the two runs with a single.

Feeney gave up a two-out single to Austin Chauvin but struck out Gregoire to end the eighth. In the ninth, Cronin retired Brandon Grover on a grounder to Nollet at second, struck out Morris swinging and retired pinch-hitter Zach Scott on another ground out to Nollet.

The Suns have now won three in a row for the second time this year, and the first time since June 8-10.

"We finally were able to string together some timely hits, which — especially at the beginning of the year — we were lacking," said Suns manager Tom Conley. "It was nice to see some guys step up, especially Colin Ridley.

"I think this lineup should always hit at any point in the game. ... As long as we're getting quality starts from the starters, we're in good shape."

Contact Howard Herman at 413-496-6253.


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