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Suns believe they're still alive

June 08, 1998|By BOB PARASILITI

Marty Pevey refuses to accept charity.

But then again, the manager of the Hagerstown Suns won't give back any gifts either.

--cont from sports--

The Suns enter the final week of the South Atlantic League's first half trailing Northern Division-leading Cape Fear by five games, with Hagerstown playing nine games in the last seven days.

It doesn't seem likely for the Suns to come back and slide into a first-half championship and the franchise's first postseason playoffs in three years, but it's not impossible either.

"I don't want to back into this ... but I don't think we are entirely out of it yet either," Pevey said Saturday after Hagerstown's 11-4 victory over Savannah.

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The Suns have won nine of their last 11 games heading into back-to-back doubleheaders against the Charleston (W.Va.) Alley Cats. Hagerstown has made up 5 1/2 games since May 25 when it lost four of five games to the Crocs.

"You look at them and they have been in first place since day one," Pevey said. "If we don't win the first half, you have to look at the way they started and that we haven't played well against them."

The Crocs started the season with 15 straight wins. And the Suns fell four games behind despite starting with an 11-4 tear. But since the opening spurt, Cape Fear has gone 27-22, and the Suns have collected a 25-22 mark.

The biggest blot on Hagerstown's chance has been its 3-10 record against the Crocs.

But all Hagerstown can do is take care of its own business in the final stretch before next week's All-Star break. The Suns finish the half with five games with Charleston and four games with Asheville, who are both below .500. Cape Fear has a four-game set with Delmarva, which trails Hagerstown by one game in the standings.

"All we can do is go out and play the was we always play ... hard," Pevey said. "We have to keep it up and carry it over to the second half. It all starts with defense and the bullpen ... there it is."

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