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St. Francis baseball rallies late to topple Alemany

GLENDALE — Trailing in the count didn’t seem to worry Luke Crawshaw or Mikey Kane.

If anything, the two players relished being in a tough spot while looking to help the St. Francis High baseball team complete a late comeback.

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The duo played key roles in tight situations while facing 1-2 counts with two outs.

Crawshaw walked with the bases loaded and Kane had a bases-loaded double to highlight a four-run sixth inning to help lift host St. Francis to a 6-4 Mission League win against Alemany on Monday at the Glendale Sports Complex.

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“Just two excellent at-bats right there in very difficult situations,” St. Francis coach Aaron Dorlarque said. “You try to teach the younger players about being patient and disciplined in those kind of spots.

“It’s about letting the other team deal with the pressure. A great at-bat by Luke and then Mikey came through with another huge hit.”

Alemany (6-1-31, 3-12-1 in league) held a 3-2 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth before St. Francis (11-15, 5-11) mounted its comeback.

Back from having appendectomy surgery and batting ninth, Crawshaw drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch that scored Matthew Odomto to knot tit at 3.

“I had to stay calm and just be able to try to grind it out,” Crawshaw said. “I couldn’t chase or swing at anything outside. To get the walk was big with Mikey up next.”

Kane, who homered to left field in his previous plate appearance in the fifth, then sliced a 1-2 pitch to right-center field to bring home Tommy Italiia, Bradyn Muro and Crawshaw to give the Golden Knights the lead for good.

“I got a pitch that I could drive and it was fun just because the other guys had come through before me,” said Kane, who finished with three hits. “We lost a couple of tough [league] games last week against Harvard-Westlake and we just wanted to come back strong today.

“I was pretty hyped.”

Alemany closed to within 6-4 in the seventh on a sacrifice fly to center by Khadim Diaw off reliever Ryan Rizzo, who picked up the win. Ethan Sanders came on and got the last two outs to record the save.

The Golden Knights took a 1-0 lead in the first on a single by Jack Clougherty that scored Kane, who led off with a single and stole second base.

The Warriors tied it at 1 in the second on a RBI-triple by Israel Madariaga before Gilbert De Cardenas had a run-scoring single later in the inning to give them a 2-1 lead.

Kane tied the score at 2 in the fifth with his first career home run.

“Mikey has been our catalyst,” Dorlarque said. “He leads the team in hits and he’s done what we’ve asked of him all season.”

Alemany took a 3-2 lead in the sixth on an RBI-single by Cade Sanchez that glanced off the second baseman.

St. Francis received two hits from Odom.

Alemany got two hits apiece from Jesse Parraz, Madariaga, Sanchez and Victor Pico.

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