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Kings win home opener in dramatic fashion

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While there was no question it was a historic night, for most of the 2,407 who came to witness the first ever minor league baseball game in Queens, there was nothing too memorable through the first seven innings.

The Queens Kings, admittedly feeling opening night jitters, trailed the Hudson Valley Renegades, 9-2, heading into the bottom of the eighth inning in their New York-Penn League home opener at The Ballpark at St. John's University.

In fact many of the fans who were present for the pomp and circumstance of the pregame festivities, which included simultaneous ceremonial first pitches by Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Queens Borough President Claire Shulman, looked to beat the traffic home and make it an early night.

But those who stayed witnessed a stirring comeback, which included a five-run, two-out rally in the eighth inning and three more runs in the ninth inning, capped by Martin Malpica's broken bat single up the middle, as the Kings scored eight unanswered runs to win, 10-9 Wednesday night.

"I think it went well," said Kings third baseman Shawn Fagan. "We were a little rocky in the beginning and the New York fans were a little iffy about us, but then we started bouncing back."

Fagan, in particular, felt the pressure. Playing just about 40 minutes from his parents home in Levittown, LI, Fagan was 1-for-3 at the plate and made two errors at third that contributed to the Kings

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