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Suns win title

June 15, 1998|By DAN SPEARS

by JOE CROCETTA / staff photographer

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Suns winSuns win title

On Flag Day, it was only appropriate that the Hagerstown Suns got one of their own.

--cont from front page--

Completing a remarkable comeback, the Suns swept a South Atlantic League doubleheader from the Asheville Tourists Sunday at Municipal Stadium, 8-4 and 5-3, before 3,238 fans, then found out that Northern Division-leading Cape Fear was swept by Charleston (W.Va.), 3-1 and 2-1, giving the Suns the first-half division title by one game.

"We all knew what was going on," said relief pitcher Matt Weimer, who saved both games of the doubleheader. "We were really loose before the game. Maybe Cape Fear was a little tight."

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Hagerstown (44-26) closed the first half by winning its last 10 games - including four doubleheader sweeps in the last seven days - to complete an 11 1/2-game rally past the Crocs for the division pennant and an automatic berth in the league playoffs in September.

"When we went to Cape Fear and got beat four in a row, I think the guys looked in the mirror and said, 'We're a better team than this,'" Suns manager Marty Pevey said.

"Everybody just knew what was going on," said outfielder Tony Peters, who drove in the go-ahead run in game two. "It's just contagious; everyone was out there feeling good.

"We never quit," Peters said.

The Suns knew everything was on the line after game one. And with the team ahead in the final inning of game two, news of Cape Fear's second loss was announced over the radio. Fans in the stands began yelling to the players that the door to the title was wide open.

But the Suns nearly lost the key. With one out, two errors, a single and a walk put the go-ahead run on first for the Tourists, before Weimer caught a line drive on the mound and threw to third for a double play to end the game and begin the celebration.

The door had officially been slammed, and everyone knew it.

Almost.

"I think everyone knew but me," Pevey said. "I didn't want to know the score (in Charleston).

"But to be one up now is just unbelievable."

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