Yankees beat Suns, 4-0, sweep them in playoffs


HAGERSTOWN -- The Albany-Colonie Yankees feasted on the Hagerstown bullpen last night and eliminated the Suns from the Class AA Eastern League playoffs with a 4-0 victory at Municipal Stadium.

The outcome gave Albany-Colonie the best-of-five series, three games to none.

All the runs scored in the top of the eighth inning after Sun starter Erik Schullstrom had matched Russ Springer through a scoreless seven.

Todd Stephan relieved Schullstrom and immediately yielded one-out bunt single to Brad Ausmus. Bobby DeJardin, who hit two homers during the regular season, followed with a two-run shot over the right-field fence to break the tie.

Stephan continued to have problems, walking John Viera an allowing a bloop single to Dave Silvestri before being removed for Daryl Moore.

J.T. Snow, son of football receiver Jack Snow, knocked home th third run with a single on a 1-2 pitch against Moore and Jeff Williams came on to pitch.

Billy Masse hit a tailor-made double play hopper to Suns secon baseman Rodney Lofton, who booted the ball as the fourth run scored. Williams went on to strike out the next two hitters and hold the Yankees scoreless through the rest of the game.

The Suns had only two hits against Springer and left-hande Mike Gardella, who relieved him with one out and one on in the eighth.

Lofton bounced Springer's first pitch of the game through the middle for a single and Hagerstown loaded the bases with two out. But Silvestri made a nice play to retire Vic Hithe on a chopper to shortstop to end the threat.

From that point until Springer walked his last hitter, Lofton, in th eighth, the Suns managed only two runners against the right-hander, who made only two previous starts for Albany-Colonie after promotion from Class A Fort Lauderdale.

Hagerstown's second hit came with one out in the ninth, sinking liner to right by Mel Wearing. But Gardella retired the next two batters.

The Suns finished second in the regular season, five game ahead of third- place Albany-Colonie, and won the season series, 13-7, including an 8-1 record at home.

But in the playoffs, they managed only three runs and 12 hits i three games after finishing with 57 runs and 64 hits in their final five regular-season games.

Schullstrom struck out nine batters and allowed only three singles in his seven innings, weathering three jams when the Yankees sent runners to third base.

He struck out the side in his final inning.

Albany-Colonie will play the winner of the series between the Harrisburg Senators and Canton-Akron Indians. Harrisburg leads, 2-0, after winning, 5-2, last night.

The Yankees have taken the Eastern League title four time overall, including 1988 and 1989.

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