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Title: Barons have the power, but SkyChiefs' field lights do not

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre will start with big lead today when game interrupted by electrical outage will be completed.

April 29, 2000

By VAN ROSE Times Leader Sports Writer

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- A funny thing happened to the Red Barons, who appeared to have their fifth straight victory in hand Friday night. The lights went out at P&C Stadium in the bottom of the eighth inning, forcing the game to be suspended.

At the time, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre held an 8-0 lead over Syracuse. The SkyChiefs were batting with one out and a runner on second base. The umpires suspended the game less than five minutes after the power outage occurred.

The game is scheduled to be completed today, prior to the regularly scheduled game between the Red Barons and SkyChiefs. Stadium officials gave no immediate explanation for the power failure.

"This isn't the first time I've seen a game postponed due to the lights going out," Scranton/Wilkes-Barre manager Marc Bombard said. "Certainly, it's disrupting, but there's nothing you can do about it."

The Red Barons took an early 2-0 lead Friday, and then erupted for five runs in the fifth inning to take a 7-0 lead. The big blows were Tomas Perez's three-run home run and Jalal Leach's two-run single.

Perez' blast was one for the books. He hit a towering fly ball which landed on top of the right field fence, then bounced twice on the fence before clearing it.

"I've never seen that happen before," said Perez, a veteran infielder who was making his Red Barons' debut against his former teammates. "When the ball bounced on top of the fence, I thought was going over. When I bounced the second time, I couldn't believe it."

Perez wound up with four RBI. He singled in Gary Bennett from second base in the third inning.

"I feel great, because I just got a new job," said Perez, who joined the Red Barons three days ago after being released by the Phillies. "It was especially nice to have a big game against my former team."

Perez, who was the starting shortstop for Syracuse in 1997 and 1998, said he will always have fond memories of playing for the SkyChiefs.

"I made a lot of friends in Syracuse."

Chris Pritchett added a pair of doubles to the Red Barons' attack, and Kenny Wood extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a leadoff single in the first inning.

"Pritchett is starting to swing the bat well," Bombard said. "He hit the ball hard three times tonight."

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre also got an excellent performance from starting pitcher Mark Brownson. The right-hander worked seven innings, surrendering only four hits.

"Brownson pitched a great game," Bombard said. "He had a perfect game going after three innings. He put the leadoff man on base the next four innings, but our defense picked him up."

Brownson said he had good control.

"It's much easier to pitch when you have a 7-0 lead," Brownson said. "I was able to go right at the hitters because I knew a home run wasn't going to beat me.

"Our defense was outstanding," he added. "They came up with some very timely plays, including a double play with the bases loaded."

Jason Boyd came on to pitch in the eighth inning and was on the mound when the lights went out.

Bombard said he's not surprised that the Red Barons are starting to click offensively.

"You can see they're starting to get better at-bats," Bombard said. "There's never been any panic about our hitting. We've got plenty of hitters on this team."

Even though the Red Barons own an 8-0 lead, Bombard isn't ready to chalk up a victory just yet.

"The game isn't over," he said.


-- (, April 29, 2000

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