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American Legion defeats First Citizens
Legion denied advancement with loss in game 2
American Legion coach Chris Bell talks to his players during Thursday's playoff game against First Citizens Bank. They won 8-7 but lost game two later that evening. - photo by Phgoto by Patty Leon
As the playoffs continue the mite league game between American Legion and First Citizens Bank kept the crowd waiting until the very end to see who would stand victorious on a hot and sunny Thursday afternoon.
It was a slugfest as First Citizens Bank hit their way to a one run lead in the top of the first inning. American Legion's, Evan Crystal took his first at bat striking a triple and then scoring off a hit to tie the game in the bottom of the first.
Deondre Jernigan of First Citizens returned the favor with his own triple scoring a runner. Nicholas Scott brought Jernigan home off another hit and First Citizens took a 3-1 lead.
D'Mandre Williams hit another triple for the Legion and was brought home off a hit by Nathan Diggs. Legion's Gregory Anthony helped tie the game with another hit (3-3). The Legion added to more runs to close the inning with a 2 run lead.
Citizens Bank tied the game with one out and scored a run to go ahead with two outs.
But Williams scored another run for the Legion edging out a one-point lead.
Dylan Norris tied the game for Citizens Bank in the final inning but the Legion had their last at bat and batter Chris Bell slugged the ball deep enough to bring in the winning runner and 8-7 victory for American Legion.
"Our regular season record was not that good but we won the first two games of the playoffs before losing here tonight," First Citizen coach Beth Lairamore said. "Their skills are developing and they are starting to understand the concept of teamwork. They know they have to count on each other and they did that. We got further than some people may have expected and that makes me feel great. They should be very proud of themselves they did a great job."
Lairamore said she stresses teamwork when coaching her players saying individuals do not win baseball games, teams do.
"We are trying to teach these kids the basics of baseball," Legion coach Chris Bell said. "We are trying to give them the platform from where they can work off for the rest of their lives and as long as they want to play baseball. We want to teach them good sportsmanship and most of all have fun."
The Legion had only one loss in the regular season. They lost their first post-season game but the won against First Citizens. They were eliminated later that evening in game two.

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