Cacciatore named Hagerstown manager

The Hagerstown Suns are pleased to announce their coaching staff for the 2006 season, set to begin on Thursday, April 6th when the 2005 North Division Champion Suns travel to Greensboro, NC to take on the Grasshoppers. The regular season home opener is Monday, April 10th against the Lakewood BlueClaws at Municipal Stadium.

The Suns new manager for the 2006 season will be Frank Cacciatore. Cacciatore, a longtime Montreal Expos' hitting instructor, most recently spent the 2005 season as hitting coach for the Double-A Harrisburg Senators, an affiliate of the Washington Nationals.

The former minor league outfielder has managed for nine minor league seasons in the past including stops in the San Francisco, Florida and Houston organizations. Frank lives in Orlando, Florida in the off-season and was recently inducted into the Florida Southern College Hall of Fame.

Hitting coach Luis Natera and pitching coach Shawn Barton return to Hagerstown in 2006 after helping lead the Suns to a South Atlantic League North Division title last season.

Natera, a former draft pick of the Mets, guided the Suns to a .264 team batting average in 2005 (good for sixth in the 16 team South Atlantic League). As manager of the Dominican Mets for five prior seasons, Natera amassed an overall managerial record of 270-160.

In 2005, Barton led a crop of young pitching prospects that played a major role in the Suns reaching the League Championship Series. The team finished with an ERA of 3.93, fifth best in the league.

Trainer Matt Hunter returns to the Suns in 2006 as well after having been selected as the trainer for the South Atlantic League North Division All-Star squad in 2005.

The Hagerstown Suns are the single-A affiliate of the New York Mets. Ticket packages and sponsorships are available by calling the Suns at 301-791-6266. The Suns are owned by Los Angeles based Mandalay Baseball Properties.

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