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West Ranch walks off for win over Saugus

Posted: May 9, 2014 10:03 p.m.
Updated: May 9, 2014 10:03 p.m.

West Ranch's Jason Drees, center, celebrates with his teammates after he hit a game-winning single to beat Saugus at West Ranch High School on Friday.

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West Ranch baseball needed a win and West Ranch sophomore Jason Drees needed a hit.

It just so happened both worked out at the same time.

Drees extended his hitting streak to 18 games with a walk-off, RBI single in the seventh inning to help the West Ranch Wildcats complete a 4-3 come-from-behind victory over the Saugus Centurions on Friday at West Ranch High School.

It completed a big rally after the Wildcats (15-9 overall, 8-5 Foothill League) trailed 3-0 in the fifth inning.

West Ranch scored a run apiece in the fifth and sixth and plated two more in a strange seventh inning.

The win keeps the Wildcats’ slim hopes of splitting a league title alive.

“We were just trying to jockey for a playoff spot and get hot at the right time,” said West Ranch head coach Casey Burrill, whose team sits at fourth place in league. “There’s plenty to play for. There’s no doubt.”

For Saugus (17-8, 9-4), the loss knocked it out of first place in league and into a second-place tie with Valencia.

This will go down as one that got away from the Centurions.

Saugus broke up a scoreless tie with a three-run fifth inning while starting pitcher Eric Little was looking on point.

West Ranch starting making dents in the lead little-by-little until things came to a head in the seventh.

Sean O’Shea hit a game-tying RBI single in the inning to bring home Davis LaBarron.

LaBarron was on third base after Blake Baumgartner hit a lazy fly ball to center field that was dropped for a potential second out.

The odd inning continued when Jake Bird hit what appeared to be the game winner into left field, but pinch runner Chase Malynn was gunned out at home on an accurate throw.

It all set up the moment for Drees, who entered the inning 0-for-2 on the day with his hit streak on the line.

He kept the streak going and kept the Wildcats within striking distance of the top three spots in league.

“It never really seems like you’re out of the game,” Burrill said of Foothill League competition. “All games seems like a one-run game.”

West Ranch’s A.J. West started the game and pitched 4 1/3 innings before struggling with his control in the fifth.

LeBarron pitched a perfect sixth and seventh inning to earn the win for the Wildcats.

Saugus’ Rudy Aguilar drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single in the fifth. It was one of two Saugus hits in the game.


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