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Prep baseball lackluster in loss to first-place Xaverian

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Coming off an emotional win against rival Holy Cross three days earlier, the adrenaline should have been pumping for the St. Francis Prep baseball team Monday afternoon.

There was the opportunity to upset first-place Xaverian and do it on the pristine field at KeySpan Park, the home of the Brooklyn Cyclones, the short-season Class A minor league affiliate of the Mets.

Instead, the Terriers treated their trek to Coney Island like it was a school trip, playing with as much intensity as it takes to eat a hot dog at Nathan's or ride the Cyclone and it resulted in a 4-2 loss.

"When we played Cross, our whole bench was into it, we got the key hits," Prep second baseman Dennis Nover said. "Today was an off-day. We can't have too many of them."

St. Francis Prep (8-5 B/Q 'A') had ample opportunity to take control of the tight game, but stranded 10 runners, leaving the bases loaded twice.

The Terriers briefly took a 2-1 lead in the top of the fifth only to see Xaverian (11-1 B/Q 'A') score three runs in the bottom of the frame, capped by a two-run single to right by Jonathan Mendez.

The Terriers threatened in the sixth, putting runners at first and second with no outs.

But Howard Beach resident Steven Kaplan struck out pinch-hitter Lebro Burnette, got Bill Xouris to fly out to shallow center and, after Bobby Dougherty reached on an infield single, induced Nover into an inning-ending flyout to right to get out of the jam.

Kaplan relieved starter Arthur Hajjar in the fourth, giving up one run on four hits to earn the win.

"We didn't execute when we had to," St. Francis Prep third baseman Sebastian Grazziani said. "We had a big win on Friday and I thought we'd be rolling."

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