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Crespi Keeps Balance After Staggering Start

Baseball: Celts outlast Notre Dame, 11-7, following a rough first two innings for both teams.


VAN NUYS — It was ugly, but Crespi High will take it.

In a three-hour, 15-minute Mission League baseball game Friday, the Celts overcame a horrid start and outlasted Notre Dame, 11-7, at Valley College for their second victory over the Golden Knights this week.

Crespi (16-8, 7-3 in league play), which was swept in two games by first-place Chaminade last week, moved into second place, one game ahead of Notre Dame (15-7, 5-3). Chaminade is 7-1 in league play.

The ugliness of the first two innings, which lasted an hour and 33 minutes, was staggering--especially considering the Golden Knights, ranked third in The Times' regional poll, and the eighth-ranked Celts are two of the area's premier teams.

Notre Dame pitcher Ryan Stonerock (4-2), who had complete-game victories in his previous two starts, walked six batters and hit another in his two innings.

Crespi pitchers Tim Leveque and Dean Robb walked four batters and threw four wild pitches over the same span.

"It was ugly as heck," Crespi Coach Scott Muckey said. "I wasn't really worried about it, I just thought we were going to get blown the heck out of there."

Robb (2-3) got Crespi through the third inning, and with the Celts clinging to a 7-6 lead, little-used pitcher Rob Hirsh provided a spark when he retired Kevin Stromsberg on a pop foul and struck out Kevin Jerkens with runners at first and third and one out in the fourth.

Hirsh delivered a run-scoring single in the fourth to put Crespi ahead, 9-7, and Andy Campanella, who had doubled and tripled, hit a two-run home run in the sixth to make the score 11-7.

Crespi ace Brian Felten, pitching on two days' rest for the first time this season, retired six consecutive batters in the last two innings for his first save.

Campanella finished with three runs batted in. Joey Gennaro had two doubles and two RBIs.

For Notre Dame, Adam Boyd had three hits and Jorge Piedra added a double and two RBIs.

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