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 Suns starter Erik Schullstrom had matched Russ Springer through a scoreless seven.
Todd Stephan relieved Schullstrom and immediately yielded a 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 and allowing a bloop single to Dave Silvestri before being removed for Daryl Moore.
J.T. Snow, son of football receiver Jack Snow, knocked home the third run with a single on a 1-2 pitch from Moore, and Jeff Williams came on to take his place.
Billy Masse hit a tailor-made double-play hopper to Suns second 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.
Hagerstown manager Jerry Narron said Schullstrom "pitched an outstanding game for us, but he was just pitched out. The biggest difference between here and the big leagues is that you think of the player's future."
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 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 the 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.
"We knew about him," said Narron. "He pitched for Tom Brown [a coach in the Oriole system] at LSU and we've heard a lot about him the last couple of years."
The Suns finished second in the regular season, five games 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 in three games, after finishing with 57 runs and 64 hits in their final five regular-season games.
"We just didn't hit," said Narron. "And coming in, I thought our bullpen would be our biggest advantage. It turned out tonight that they beat Stephan. It was tough on him to end things that way."