News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Given to Fly

August 13, 2006

Given to Fly: Role players provide vital little things

Even as Terre Haute Wayne Newton Post 346 fell behind 2-0 Sunday, there were signs that the team would break through against Beverly, Ohio, lefty Chris Dent.

One of the signs was Nick Ciolli’s blast that cleared the ballpark by 50 feet but was about 20 feet right of the foul pole. On a day when Ciolli and Indiana’s 2006 Mr. Baseball Josh Phegley both went 0 for 4 at the plate, it was also evident it might take a “small-ball” attack to get back into the game.

The top of Wayne Newton’s lineup, with Cole Vicars and Koby Kraemer setting it up for Phegley, Brady Shoemaker, Ciolli and Skyler Pearson, is scarier than the psychotic nurse in Stephen King’s “Misery.”

But the contributions by the role players for Wayne Newton should be lauded as much for getting manager John Hayes’ team a win away from reaching his — and Terre Haute’s, according to pitching coach Mike Hayes — first national finals appearance in Legion baseball.

No. 8 hitter John Rosselli, who will play next year for Vincennes University, came up with three big hits. Rosselli took what Dent gave him Sunday and sparked his team’s biggest inning with a leadoff single. All three of the second baseman’s hits went through the hole between shortstop and third base.

“The pitcher was throwing a lot of off-speed pitches,” said Rosselli, who’s hitting over .400 this summer. “He was bringing them in on the inside corner, so you scoot up in the box. It’s kind of a hard ball. I pulled the ball a lot today and I know we had several other hits on the left side.”

Wayne Newton has relied on the amazing run production of Shoemaker, along with the power that Phegley and Ciolli provide, but the rest of the lineup has to help grind out the wins when everyone’s not on top of their game.

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