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Suns' postseason fate is already known

June 16, 1998|By DAN SPEARS

On a day celebrating work, Labor Day usually provides people the day off. For three years, that group has included the Hagerstown Suns.

Not this time.

The Suns, who won 17 of their last 19 games to take away the South Atlantic League's Northern Division title from the Cape Fear Crocs, got an automatic berth into the September playoffs with Sunday's doubleheader sweep of the Asheville Tourists and the Crocs' doubleheader loss.

Last year, the Suns missed a spot in the postseason by mere hundredths of a point. This time, the Suns won't have to worry about the last games of the season determining their playoff fate.

"This takes a little pressure off," manager Marty Pevey said on Sunday. "But you don't want to relax, because then it can all go downhill real quick."

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Pevey knows plenty about momentum. His team is currently on a 10-game winning streak, one that finally showed the Suns could burn Cape Fear, which beat the Suns 10 out of 13 times during the first half.

"We've had trouble with them," said Matt Weimer, who saved both victories of Sunday's doubleheader. "So it's nice to come back and beat them."

But rallying for a title takes its toll. The Suns played four doubleheaders in a week, and the All-Star break that runs through Wednesday seems to have come at a perfect time for plenty of reasons.

"We kind of need it, especially after days like this," Weimer said after Sunday's nail-biting doubleheader sweep.

"Enjoy the three days off, just relax, and come back and start right where we left off," Tony Peters said.

"Yeah, we're playing really well, but we could all use the days off," Mike Young said.

"This is the first time the whole season that we have the lead, so it's a perfect time to break."

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