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Suns lose, remain one game back

August 28, 1998

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The Charleston Alley Cats did their part to keep some intrigue in the South Atlantic League Northern Division race.

The Alley Cats roughed up Hagerstown starter Leo Estrella for an early six-run lead and held on for a 6-3 victory which keeps the Suns one game behind first-place Delmarva in the division's second-half race with three games remaining.

The second-half title will come down to a final three-game series between the Suns and Shorebirds, which begins tonight at Municipal Stadium. The Suns (36-32, 80-58 overall) already own the first-half title and a berth in next week's playoffs.

Charleston's Jose Acevado (9-9) took total control of Hagerstown, which had scored 17 runs on 28 hits in the first two games of the series. Acevado struck out 12 before leaving in the eighth.

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The Alley Cats jumped on the struggling Estrella (11-11) early with two runs in the first. Corey Taylor led off with a walk and scored on Corey Price's double. Price stole third and scored on Travis Copley's single for the 2-0 lead.

Charleston made it 3-0 in the second as Chris Toomey doubled and eventually scored on a passed ball. The Alley Cats reached a 6-0 lead with three runs in the sixth, two coming on Toomey's two-run single.

Hagerstown began its comeback in the seventh when Greg Morrison clubbed his 15th homer - a solo shot off Acevado - in the seventh.

The Suns made it interesting against Charleston's bullpen in the ninth. Vernon Wells led off with a double against Nathan Gardner and Morrison walked, setting up Josh Phelps' RBI single. After pinch hitter Tony Peters reached safely on an error, Lorenzo Bagley grounded to first to score Morrison and cut the deficit to three runs.

But Randy Albaral struck out and Mike Young flew to right to end the game and Hagerstown's two-game winning streak.

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