With nothing at stake, the Prince William Pirates and the Hagerstown Suns decided to have some fun in their Carolina League season finale last night in Woodbridge.
The Suns prevailed, 2-1, in an otherwise uneventful game before 3,464. But Prince William outfielder Don Carter became a sideshow of sorts, as he played 10 positions, beginning the game as the designated hitter and finishing as a pitcher. He even sang the National Anthem.
The Pirates also persuaded the Suns to bat catcher Gerry Melillo in the leadoff position so he could face pitching coach Chris Lein, who was activated by the Pirates earlier this week. Lein had pitched against Melillo when he was on the then-Alexandria Dukes' roster two years ago and the two Carolina League veterans wanted to relive old times. Melillo struck out, but the pitch got away from catcher Steve Barnard and Melillo was safe at first.
The next two batters flied out, but Kurt Beamesderfer doubled to score Melillo. Lein then gave way to Mitch McKelvey, who started the game in right field.
Barry Bonds tied the score in the Pirates' half of the inning by hitting his third home run of the series and 13th of the year.
But the Suns scored the decisive run in the second. Jeff Doerr doubled and eventually scored on Jim Sullivan's fly to Carter, who happened to be in center field this inning.
Ben Bianchi (2-7) pitched a three-hitter for the victory, walking one and striking out 13.
Carter started the ninth as the catcher and took over for pitcher Hipolito Pena with one out. He first struck out Doerr, then gave up a single to deep short and a bad-hop hit to second that put runners at the corner. He ended the threat by catching Sullivan's line drive.