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Saugus baseball holds onto top spot

Posted: May 7, 2014 10:00 p.m.
Updated: May 7, 2014 10:00 p.m.

Saugus' Roy Verdejo (33) hits a home run against West Ranch on Wednesday's at Saugus High School.


After a shaky start, Saugus starting pitcher Anthony Donatella improved by the inning against West Ranch.

Behind Donatella’s complete-game performance and Roy Verdejo’s two-run home run, the Centurions defeated the Wildcats 4-1 Wednesday at Saugus High School.
With the win, the Centurions remain tied with Hart for first place in the Foothill League.

Donatella allowed his only earned run in the first inning, but settled down through the remainder of the game. He allowed eight hits with no walks and struck out five.

“Just got to go in, hit my spots and let my defense work,” said the junior left-hander. “They’ve been picking me up all season, so I just (wanted to) let them keep doing it.”

Verdejo picked up Donatella in a big way in the bottom of the first inning with a two-run home run over the left-field fence off West Ranch starting pitcher Jake Bird to give the Centurions a 2-1 lead.

Saugus (17-7 overall, 9-3 Foothill League) tacked on one run in the second and fifth innings — both unearned runs off Bird — which proved to be plenty of run support for Donatella, who threw 31 pitches to retire the side in the first, but only 62 to record the final 18 outs.

“I thought that Donatella was fantastic today. He gave up some hard hits early, but when it was time to reach down and get a strikeout, he got it,” said West Ranch head coach Casey Burrill. “He fielded his position great today, and I thought he was a fierce competitor. Today’s game goes to Donatella.”

West Ranch (14-9, 7-5) plated one run in the first on an RBI-single by Davis LeBarron to score Jason Drees.

But that was the lone highlight for the Wildcats offensively, as they had only one baserunner advance to second base over the final six innings.

Bird threw 95 pitches over his six innings of work and allowed four runs — two earned — with three walks and five strikeouts.

But the home run he gave up to Verdejo on a 2-1 fastball in the first inning gave Saugus the lead for good.

“You don’t know what’s going to happen in this league, so we want to remain in a place where we control our own destiny,” said Saugus head coach John Maggiora.

Saugus’ Troy Williams went 1-for-3 with two runs scored, and Caden Gonzales went 1-for-3 with a run scored.

Drees continued to swing a hot bat for the Wildcats, as he extended his hit streak to 17 games with a 3-for-4 day and a run scored, while LeBarron finished 2-for-3 and an RBI.

The rubber match in the series is Friday at West Ranch.

The Wildcats won the first meeting at home 2-1 on March 28.



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