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Stepinac comes from behind win to stay undefeated

Posted Friday, April 20, 2007 by Lohud.com

Stepinac gets five in the 7th to stay undefeated
Josh Thompson

http://baseball.lohudblogs.com/2007/04 - /20/stepinac-gets-five-in-the-7th-to-stay-undefeat - ed/#respond

20 For 6 1/3 innings it looked like Stepinac?s undefeated romp through April would come to an end. But after plating five runs with one out in the seventh, the Crusaders won their ninth game of the year, 8-7 over rival Fordham Prep.

For Stepinac (9-0), it was one of those wins to look back at following a championship season. The Crusaders simply didn?t play their best ball (in one inning, they committed three errors that led to three runs), but were still able to pull out a victory over a very good team.

About two hours in, the star of the day looked like Fordham Prep?s Pete Naber, who absolutely hammered a grand slam in the top of the first. He also doubled to lead off the sixth, and scored on one of the three errors.

After the three-run top of the sixth, the Rams (4-2) led 7-2. But with the pitch count of Chris Cositore (right) up and his arm tiring, Fordham Prep went to its ?pen. Stepinac struck for a run in the sixth, then rallied to score five runs with one out in the seventh. The heroes turned out to be Anthony Antonicelli and Eric Capowski, the seventh and eighth-place hitters. Antonicelli hit a two-run double down the right field line to bring his team within a run, and Capowski (below, tagging Fordham?s Rob Fondu), who had four hits and three RBI, hit a two-run, walk-off single.

(Photos by Matthew Brown)

Before I go, two funny notes about the bottom of the seventh:

1. Antonicelli?s double could?ve tied the game. It rolled into the RF corner and out of play for a ground-rule double to put the Crusaders down by a run, but it should?ve tied the game. Stepinac had portable fence in RF, but not in the corner. Football coach and AD Mike O?Donnell told me after the game he had two more pieces of fence to put up but decided against it. We laughed about it afterward?but the Crusaders would?ve been kicking themselves if Capowski didn?t come through.

2. Capowski nearly pulled off a squeeze bunt. He fouled it off because it was a bad pitch, but Capowski?s squeeze easily would?ve plated Nick Raiano with the tying run. But sometimes the plays that don?t work turn out better than you could?ve ever hoped. That?s the beauty of baseball.

OK, I may have more later. But as of right now, this is the best game I?ve seen all year.

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