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Pitching the answer for Saugus baseball

Posted: March 21, 2014 10:53 p.m.
Updated: March 21, 2014 10:53 p.m.

Canyon's Jason Rowe can't beat the throw to Saugus first baseman Ty Faulconer during Friday's game at Saugus High School.

 

For the second straight game, the Saugus baseball team has had to rely heavily on its pitching in order to grind out a win.

The Centurions got another solid performance from their staff on Friday in their 2-0 win over the visiting Canyon Cowboys.

Saugus (7-2, 2-0) only had three hits in the game, but were able to keep Canyon (4-5, 0-2) from getting any offensive momentum.

“We’re going to be like that I think,” said Saugus head coach John Maggiora. “We know that we pitch and play defense and we’re going to be in a lot of tight ball games. It’s kind of what we do. But I thought our at-bats were better today than they were on Wednesday so we’re making progress there.”

Two of Saugus’ hits came in the first inning when junior Rex Kemple singled to lead off the inning and was moved to second on a Ty Faulconer sacrifice bunt. After a Brendan Griffith fly out to center, cleanup hitter Roy Verdejo brought Kemple in with a RBI double, giving Saugus an early 1-0 lead.

From there the teams came to a stalemate as both pitchers found their zones.

Saugus starter Anthony Donatella was strong in his 5 1/3 innings, giving up only six hits, striking out three and walking two on his way to the win.

“I didn’t have my best stuff today but it worked out,” he said. “I love my team on defense. We’re good.”

That defense showed early in the first inning when Canyon’s Joey Reagan and Cole Mears hit back-to-back singles with one out to put runners on first and third.

But Donatella got Jason Rowe to ground into a 4-6-3 double play, the first of two turned by the Centurions, to end the inning.

That proved to be the Cowboys’ best scoring opportunity as they would only get two more runners into scoring position, and never past second base.

“We aren’t very aggressive at the plate right now and it’s tough to win like that,” said Canyon head coach Adam Schulhofer. “I told them (after the game) that it’s a long season and it can turn around at any time. But that’s a decision we have to make.”

After putting up another run in the fifth for a 2-0 lead, Saugus brought in Robert Winslow in the sixth to finish the game.

He struck out two and forced the second double play in his 1 2/3 innings.

“Canyon is a good hitting team so I knew I had to hit my spots and get outs,” he said. “I trust the team. I knew they would be solid behind me if I gave up any hits.”

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