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HIGH SCHOOL DIGEST

ATHLETE OF THE WEEK : Saugus First Baseman's Home Run Swing Warrants Favorable Comparisons to Snyder

May 13, 1987

Saugus first baseman Don Pedersen would rather avoid comparisons to Cory Snyder, the Cleveland Indians' outfielder and former Canyon High player.

"I'd rather just concentrate on going out there and doing the things that need to be done," Pedersen said.

Sorry, Don, but after looking at your statistics as a junior last year alongside Snyder's numbers from his junior year in 1980, comparisons are hard to ignore.

Consider these striking similarities: Pedersen and Snyder batted .417 in Golden League play and .333 in the playoffs. Both had .500 records as pitchers and were named to All-Golden League teams. And both were 6-2, 170.

"It never really dawned on me," Pedersen said.

"Offensively, Pedersen has to get the nod in terms of overall statistics," said Saugus assistant Coach Bill Bolde, who also coached Snyder. "But I would hate to say one is better than the other."

Pedersen holds one advantage over Snyder, who hit five home runs at Canyon. Pedersen hit his 11th career home run last week to become Saugus' all-time leader and help the Centurions clinch the top league playoff spot with a win over Canyon. Pedersen has six home runs this year and has homered against every league opponent.

Hitting home runs hasn't been easy for Pedersen, who sees a steady diet of "junk" from opposing pitchers. Pedersen has parlayed pitcher discretion into two more school records. His 26 walks this year and 43 in his career are Saugus records.

"When it comes to late innings, though," Pedersen said, "they have to throw strikes. Then you hit their mistakes."

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