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  Mon, August 23, 2004


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NFL CANADA




Eagles won't just fly away
Underdog East Nepean ready to battle powerhouse Chinese Taipei
By CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

The East Nepean Eagles, the youngest and maybe the smallest team at the Little League World Series, now face a tall order.

If they want to keep alive their hopes of advancing beyond the round-robin, they must come up with a way to beat the powerhouse team from Chinese Taipei tonight (8 p.m.) at Lamade Stadium.

The Eagles are 0-1 after their opening-game 12-2 loss to Panama. The other team in their pool is Poland, which is now 0-2 after a 9-0 loss to Panama (2-0) yesterday. The top two teams in each pool advance to the quarter-finals. Chinese Tapei, which beat Poland 18-0 Saturday night, can clinch a playoff spot, along with Panama, with a win over the Eagles.

The Eagles conclude the round-robin with a game against Poland tomorrow.

About the only thing that might slow Chinese Taipei down is an outbreak of chickenpox. One of their players was diagnosed and was isolated with limited contact with other people.

It didn't stop them from hammering Poland with 14 runs in the top of the first inning of their game.

"I really think we are going to be able to compete," said Eagles manager Mike Crepin, who put his team through a light workout yesterday. "I expect a totally different game (from Friday night)."

TOUGH OUTING

The Panamanians are a cocky bunch and played a physical game, sparking a couple of collisions at first base.

Eagles second baseman Nick Gazo was spiked and the cut became infected. He spent yesterday at the infirmary, as did third baseman Alexandra Bellini, who was dehydrated.

Crepin said the two-day layoff for the Eagles has been a good thing.

"I know some people didn't like it, but I like it. Everybody is having a blast and now they're excited about playing again. We had the opportunity to rest and enjoy the experience of being here. That's as important or more important than wins or losses."

Matt DeLuca will go to the mound for the Eagles tonight.