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Foothill League baseball: Saugus bucks losing streak

Centurions win for the first time in four league games

Posted: April 14, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: April 14, 2011 1:55 a.m.

The hard-fought wins can often be the most rewarding ones.

That’s especially the case for Saugus baseball, which had been struggling in Foothill League play prior to spring break.

Equipped with a renewed sense of urgency, the Centurions escaped with a 4-3 win over Canyon and snapped a four-game league losing skid on Wednesday at Saugus High School.

It also ended a two-game league winning streak for the Cowboys.

It appeared Saugus (7-10, 2-4) had it well in hand when it took a 4-1 lead into the seventh inning. Canyon scored a pair of runs and got the tying runner aboard second base in the frame before the threat was put to rest.

“You just take the wins any way you get them,” said Saugus head coach John Maggiora. “At this point, there are no style points with these wins. Not when you have 10 games to go and you’re chasing everyone.”

The Cowboys (7-11, 2-4) used patient hitting and aggressive baserunning during the seventh-inning rally, but they were also helped by an error, a wild pitch and a walk.

Saugus senior Nick Lombardi earned the save on the mound after coming in to relieve pitcher Brad Buchignani with one out in the inning.

“Errors happen. It’s a part of baseball. You’ve got to bulldog it and just grind it out,” said Lombardi, who also got the Centurions on the board in the first inning with a two-run home run.

He hit the ball the opposite way to right field to score Justin Sheehan, who had been hit by a pitch in the previous at-bat.

Lombardi finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs.

Saugus led 2-0 after one, but Canyon answered with a run in the second when it strung together three singles.

Right fielder Jacob King came up with the one-out RBI hit for the Cowboys to make it 2-1. He plated Kevin Morrice, who led off the inning with a bunt base hit.

From that point on, Canyon struggled to put the ball in play with runners on base.

“The bottom line is, we were a single or a double or a two-run hit away from winning this game,” said Canyon head coach Adam Schulhofer, whose team tallied 11 hits and stranded seven baserunners.

In the third inning, the Centurions scored what proved to be the two game-winning runs.

Sheehan smacked a ball into the right-center field gap off Canyon starter Nick Diaz for an RBI double that scored Connor Wilson. Two batters later, Evan Steen knocked in Sheehan with an RBI single to put Saugus up 4-1.

Sheehan went 1-for-2 with an RBI and two runs.

Saugus starting pitcher Justin Donatella worked his way through five innings and allowed the one run to earn the win.

“Our spring break trip went well,” Lombardi said of Saugus’ games in Anaheim last week. “We had really good momentum in those games and I think we just carried it over to today.”

Canyon pitcher Chris Serrano went 3 2/3 innings in relief, allowing no runs and two hits.


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