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BUZZ GET BLASTED BY CANNONS, BUT 1ST-PLACE LEAD’S STILL SAFE

SHARE BUZZ GET BLASTED BY CANNONS, BUT 1ST-PLACE LEAD’S STILL SAFE

The Salt Lake Buzz have been the hottest team in the PCL the past month and are a virtual lock to win the second half Northern Division title, so maybe they were due for a bad outing.

They had a doozie Friday night.The Buzz hitters were almost silent, their fielding was suspect and their pitchers, especially in the middle innings, were atrocious. If that weren't bad enough, the top hitter in the league, Riccardo Ingram bruised his knee while catching a foul ball down the right field line and had to come out of the game and pitcher Bill Wissler was injured when a hot shot up the middle nailed his left hand. Wissler went to the hospital for X-Rays following the game to see if the hand had been broken.

It all added up to a 12-2 shellacking at the hands of the Calgary Cannons in front of 13,357 fans at Franklin Quest Field.

"It wasn't pretty tonight," Buzz manager Phil Roof said. "That was the first time this month we've had a bad outing. When you've been playing as well as we've been playing you don't expect those to happen, but we've just got to get it out of our minds."

The Buzz, now 36-26 in the second half, are still in good shape as far as the second half race in concerned. With 10 games to play the Buzz lead the other four teams in the division by at least six games.

The loss was just the second for the Buzz in their last 10 at home. Salt Lake has won 15 of its last 20 overall.

Buzz center fielder Steve Hazlett hit a solo homer in the second inning to tie the game 1-1, but from there it was all Calgary.

The Cannons had 17 hits including three homers, two triples and three doubles against five different Buzz pitchers.

Calgary did the bulk of the damage off Buzz starter Marc Barcelo (8-11), who gave up eight runs (three homers) in four innings. By the end of the fifth inning the Cannons had an 11-1 lead.

The only real excitement thereafter came in the sixth inning when Buzz designated hitter Patrick Lennon took a big swing on a third strike, accidentally throwing his bat on a line into the crowd down the third-base line. Fortunately, no fans were injured.

The 10-run margin of defeat tied for the worst of the season for the Buzz.