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Sneed keeps Cats scratching

August 26, 1998

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Before Tuesday night's game, Suns manager Marty Pevey held a team meeting to attempt to snap the Suns out of their slump.

All he needed was a change of Charlestons.

John Sneed struck out nine in seven strong innings, and the Hagerstown Suns busted out of a game-and-a-half daze to pound the Charleston Alley Cats 11-1 in the South Atlantic League.

Hagerstown (35-31, 79-57 overall) had received a whipping in its last 15 innings against the Charleston (S.C.) RiverDogs, giving up 23 runs in that span.

But the Suns were focused from the beginning Tuesday. Vernon Wells drove in two runs in the first with a two-out single, and they never looked back. The 7-8-9 hitters -Josh Phelps, Randy Albaral and Cesar Izturis provided the rest of the fireworks, going a combined 8-for-13 and scoring four times. Mike Young was the beneficiary of the hits, driving in three runs with a bases loaded triple in the second to make it 5-0.

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Sneed (16-2) moved to the top of the league standings in two categories with his performance. He now leads the league in victories, and strikeouts. His 210 Ks are two more than Josh Kalinowski of Greensboro.

The Suns as a team also moved closer to the top. Their win, combined with an 8-7 loss by Delmarva against Cape Fear, pulls the Suns to within one game of the lead in the Northern Division.

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