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Legion Baseball: Rowan 13, Concord 11

By Mike London
mlondon@salisburypost.com
The folks at Newman Park are getting to like hustler Jon Crucitti, who has been a standout for the Mooresville Legion team in recent seasons
Fans were almost stunned when Crucitti lofted a routine flyball to right field in the eighth inning. It was the first time he’s made an out in a Rowan uniform.
“Yeah, I’m just a lousy 5-for-6,” Crucitti joked. “But this really is an amazing place to play ball. At practice, you just want to lie down in that outfield grass.”
Crucitti knocked in runs in each of his first four at-bats on Friday, and Rowan needed everything it got from him in a 13-11 victory over Concord.
Both teams were short-handed because of the ongoing prep playoffs, but this one will count in the league standings. Rowan, with East jayvees filling holes, won despite making six errors.
“You want win many making six errors,” Rowan coach Jim Gantt said. “We persevered. We did just enough at the plate and on the mound.”
Rowan trailed 5-2, led 11-5, and finally held off Concord, which got two homers from Michael Tancini.
Rowan got decent work on the mound from starter Russell Michalec, winner Nick Smith, Matt Miller (the West Rowan version of Matt Miller ó East’s Matt Miller is still in the playoffs) and Billy Veal, who worked the last two innings for a save.
Veal provided a scare when Tancini, bidding for his third homer, flied deep to right in the ninth with a man aboard.
“You’ve got to work the bottom of the strike zone in this park,” said Veal, sighing with relief. “Any pitch that’s up could fly right out of here.”
Rowan’s six-run fifth inning that featured a three-run double by Trey Holmes and Crucitti’s two-run homer proved decisive.
Veal delivered a two-run single in the fourth. Andy Austin produced a two-run double in the seventh.
Rowan entertains Mocksville tonight.

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