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Milford Legion Takes Home Opener

It was a chilly night at Fino Field, but the Milford legion bats were hot as they blasted North County, 8-1 on Thursday.
Catcher Nick Crivello led Milford offensively, going 2-for-3 with a single and an RBI double. Crivello's double extended Milford's lead to 3-0 in the sixth and started the rally that saw Milford put up six of their eight runs in the inning.
"Nick Crivello's hit to me, was the big hit to get the ball rolling for us," said Milford head coach Brian Macchi. "Hitting is contagious, especially when you get those hits with runners on base."
The contagion seemed to spread quickly through the Milford lineup as the next five batters reached base for Milford following Crivello's double.
Despite Milford's offensive explosion in the sixth, the offense was slow to start as Milford managed only two runs in the first five innings of play.
The play of the game came in the second inning when Hopedale High School student Ian Strom whacked a triple over the North County center fielder's head. Strom would later score the game's first run on a bloop single by second basemen Daniel Mantoni.
Mantoni's bloop single can be attributed to an apparent miscommunication between North County's defense as the shortstop, second basemen, and center fielder all had a play on the pop up. Luckily for Milford, none of them came up with it.
North County struggled to regain their focus following Mantoni's single as the 5-foot-10 second basemen stole second and eventually scored making it 2-0.
Two runs was all Milford's starting pitcher Steve Morganelli would need as he shut down the North County bats. Morganelli went 5.2 innings and surrendered only two hits. The Milford High School graduate fanned seven batters, but struggled with his control as he walked four. Despite his issues with command, Morganelli shut out North County for nearly six innings.
"Steve (Morganelli) really gutted it out for us today," said Macchi. "His pitch count was going up early in the game, but found a way to keep us in the game."
Morganelli was not the only Milford player with a gutsy performance as Milford scored eight runs without much production coming from the heart of their lineup. The team's three, four and five hitters which features Matt Gerard, Matt Ferrelli and EG McMillan combined for 1-for-10 with two RBI's and a walk in the game.
The win puts Milford at 2-0 on the season. Although it is still very early, the Milford Legion squad is not taking any win for granted.
"It's important for us to start early in the season and get as many wins as you can because you've got to find a way to qualify for that first state tournament," said Macchi.
Milford continues their home stand against Wachusett on Friday at 7 p.m.




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