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Suns go to 12-0 vs. Cats at home

August 16, 1998|By BOB PARASILITI

Tony Peters and Jesse Zepeda became Hagerstown's resident conservationalists on Saturday.

Both came up so big by trying to do so little.

Peters clubbed a two-run homer in the opener and Zepeda came back with a grand slam in the six-run second inning of the nightcap to propel the Hagerstown Suns to a 2-1 and 8-4 doubleheader sweep of the Charleston Alley Cats before 3,236 fans at Municipal Stadium.

Pitching should have headed the show for the Suns with their two aces - John Sneed and Clayton Andrews - working the twinbill. While they did their jobs, Peters and Zepeda stole the show.

"It was one of those things where you don't try to do too much and good things happen," said Zepeda, who blew the nightcap open with shocking suddeness.

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It was the fifth time the Suns have swept Charleston in a Municipal Stadium doubleheader this season. In fact, the Alley Cats are 0-12 against the Suns in Hagerstown this season.

The victories moved the Suns (28-28, 72-54 overall) into second place, one-half game behind Delmarva in the South Atlantic League Northern Division's second-half standings. It's the first time the Suns have been at .500 in the second half since they were 3-3 on June 23.

Peters' blast gave a dominant Sneed all he needed to claim his league-leading 14th win of the season. Sneed (14-2) allowed Johnny Oliver a two-out solo homer in the fourth to fall behind 1-0.

"It was a mistake pitch that was up in the zone," Sneed said. "You have to give him credit. All I tried to do was try to keep the team in the game because I knew the offense would come through."

He didn't need to wait long.

Cesar Izturis ripped a one-out single to right off Nathan Gardner (4-6). Peters followed by ripping a 1-2 fastball over the right-center field wall for his eighth homer of the season and the game winner.

"I consider myself fortunate," Peters said. "I had two strikes and I was just trying to take the ball back up the middle. I didn't do anything special."

Sneed pitched a complete game, allowing four hits while striking out eight.

In the nightcap, Lorenzo Bagley led off the second with his 13th homer, setting the stage for Zepeda. Bobby Cripps doubled before Vernon Wells and Mike Young reached on errors to load the bases.

Zepeda unloaded his shot over the right-field fence for his third homer of the season.

"I saw quite a few pitches and I was just trying to keep my swing short and not do too much," he said. "I just got a good pitch to hit."

The Suns jumped out to a 8-1 lead after four before Charleston roughed up Andrews for two runs in the fifth. Woody Heath (9-3) came on and shut down the Alley Cats with the help of Jaron Seabury to get the win.

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