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By Ammar Khan

From Legends Hayden Jung-Goldberg crossing home plate to score the game’s first run to outfielder JP Avila hitting a ball to center field on an RBI double, the Crawdads found themselves in an eerily similar situation the last time they played the Legends; facing an early deficit. 

On Sunday, Jul. 23, the Walnut Creek Crawdads (8-5) faced the Menlo Park Legends (unofficially 7-4) in a CCL North Conference matchup. The game was played at the College of San Mateo and marked the third time in the last week that the two teams faced one another.

Facing a 2-0 deficit at the top of the second inning, outfielder Ethan Liao stepped up to bat with runners at first and third base.

While the Legends were trying to rundown Crawdad’s outfielder Casey Cummings between first and second base, outfielder Mark Wolbert ran to home plate. The play gave the Crawdads their first run of the game and led to Cummings advancing to second base.

Despite an early scare from a buzzing Legends offense, Crawdad’s starting pitcher Jaxon Byrd held his own. Byrd would hold the Legends scoreless till the 5th inning.

Meanwhile, the Crawdads offense appeared to have come alive by the third inning.

The team tied the game at two a-piece after a Rios hit led to a triple and an RBI.

After both pitchers held their own for several innings, the Crawdads offense woke up once again.

With two Crawdads on bases, the Crawdads took the lead after infielder Presley Kosciusko hit a home run. That play extended the Crawdads lead, 6-3.

With Byrd keeping the Legends scoreless one last time at the top of the sixth inning, the Crawdads dominant offensive performance continued.

Infielder Isaiah Walker hit a single that led to an RBI, extending the Crawdads lead 7-3.

While Crawdads pitcher Chase Dabbs striking out three batters and holding the Legends scoreless for the next two innings, the Crawdads offense continued to put on a show.

The team scored three more runs in the top of the eighth inning. Two of the three runs came from a two-run triple from catcher Xavier Rios after he hit a ball toward right field.

The lead was 11-3.

The Legends attempted a comeback in the last inning, scoring two runs on Crawdad’s closing pitcher Drew Agular. Ultimately, their dreams of a comeback were short-lived as the Crawdads defense cashed in on two fly balls.

The Crawdads defeated the Legends with a final score of 11-5. 

Despite facing a 2-0 deficit, the cohesive play by the Crawdads pitching and batting allowed the team to bounce back with a dominating victory over the Legends.

Catcher Xavier Rios was awarded player of the game as he recorded two triples.

The win puts the Crawdads atop of the conference and drops the Legends back to the third spot.

The Crawdads will be back in action Tuesday, Jun. 25 in a CCL conference matchup versus the San Luis Obispo Blues. The game will be played at Monte Vista High School at 4 p.m.

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