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Saugus baseball finding its offense

Posted: April 23, 2014 9:36 p.m.
Updated: April 23, 2014 9:36 p.m.

Saugus shortstop Brendan Griffith makes a stop on a ground ball against Canyon High at Canyon Wednesday.

 

The Saugus Centurions’ pitching staff continues to deal, and its bats continue to heat up.

Behind a strong pitching performance from Anthony Donatella and a four-run outburst in the second inning, the Centurions defeated the Canyon Cowboys 8-2 Wednesday at Canyon High.

“We did what we needed to do,” said Saugus head coach John Maggiora. “We try to preach to these guys that when you go on the road to try and put up some runs early and make it last.”

With the win, and Valencia’s 10-6 victory over Hart, the Centurions are tied with the Vikings and the Indians for first place in the Foothill League.

Saugus (12-6 overall, 6-2 Foothill) sent 10 hitters to the plate in a four-run second inning, which included a two-out, two RBI double by Roy Verdejo to make the score 5-1.

Verdejo finished 1-for-3 with three RBIs, Troy Williams went 2-for-4 with an RBI double and a walk, while Caden Gonzales went 2-for-2 with three runs scored and two stolen bases.

Rex Kemple was never retired, as he finished 3-for-3 with two walks, two runs scored and two stolen bases.

“We’ve been working a lot in practice on game-like situations and it translated nice,” Kemple said.

Canyon (6-12-1, 1-7) plated one run in the first inning off Donatella on a one-out single by Jason Rowe to score Cole Mears, but the junior left-hander found his grove after that.

Donatella picked up his third Foothill League win — second against Canyon — as he allowed six hits over five innings with one walk and one strikeout.

“You can’t take them lightly,” Donatella said regarding his preparation for his second start against Canyon. “Everyday in baseball, anyone can take the game. So I just go out, work hard and do my best.”

Other than the their 7-1 loss at Valencia, the Centurions’ pitching staff has limited the opposition to two or fewer runs in every other Foothill League contest.

And as the pitching continues to deliver, the bats keep heating up.

Saugus has scored six or more runs in each of its last four Foothill League games, which has amounted to a 28-6 run differential over that span.

But while Saugus has found ways to scratch across runs, the Cowboys continue to struggle with run production.

Canyon has scored more than two runs in a Foothill League contest only once this season.

“We just have to score runs,” said Canyon head coach Adam Schulhofer on what he wants to see from his team against Saugus on Friday. “I don’t care how we do it, and I don’t think (my players) do either. We just have to score runs.”

Rowe finished 3-for-3 with a triple and a run scored, while Justin Stark went 2-for-3 for the Cowboys.

run scored, while Justin Stark went 2-for-3 for the Cowboys.

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