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Centurions in complete control

Hooper tosses a two-hitter to offset Canyon’s much-improved defense

Posted: April 22, 2009 10:12 p.m.
Updated: April 23, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Saugus' Matt Emerson rounds second after hitting a home run Wednesday at Saugus High.

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Coming off a pair of disheartening losses to West Ranch, the Saugus baseball team needed to rebound with a complete effort – which is exactly what the Centurions did.

Kyle Hooper pitched a complete-game two-hitter and struck out 10, while Saugus pieced together enough offense to defeat Canyon 8-0 at Saugus High School.

“I thought it was a business-like effort,” said Saugus head coach John Maggiora. “Hooper pitched well, and he was getting ground balls. I’m happy with our effort.”

Canyon (2-18, 0-8) didn’t commit an error and played solid defense, which has been a problem for the Cowboys at times this season.
With Hooper tossing an excellent game, it didn’t matter.

“I’m happy we made the plays when we needed to, but the flip side is we can’t get hits when we need to,” said Canyon head coach Adam Schulhofer.

Saugus (9-8, 5-3) kicked off the scoring in the first inning when Michael Soucy doubled to lead off and came home when Nick Lombardi doubled two batters later.

In the third, Stefan Cordes led off with a solo home run, and Brett Piper doubled behind him before scoring on an RBI double by Zach Vincej one batter later.

Matt Emerson led off the fourth inning with another solo home run, while Justin Sheehan doubled in the next at-bat and later scored on a wild pitch.

“I was kind of surprised when it went out,” Emerson said. “I was happy for the extra cushion heading into the later innings.”
Vincej singled and scored in the fifth on an RBI single by Emerson, while Soucy and Cordes drew walks in the sixth to lead off. Soucy crossed home when Lombardi was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, and Vincej hit a sacrifice fly to plate Cordes.

Canyon only had three baserunners the entire game. Icezack Fleming singled in the second inning and stole second before Hooper retired the final two batters, Kyle Pressman singled in the third and Ben Elliott reached on a Saugus error.

Hooper retired the final 10 batters he faced to earn the win.

“Hooper was tremendous,” Schulhofer said. “He was making great pitches when he needed to.”

Canyon supported starting pitcher Don Young with its solid defense, which caught the attention of the Centurions.

“Most of the balls we hit they fielded,” Maggiora said. “They played good defense. I thought it was a very clean, well-played game overall.”

Emerson finished 2-for-3 with the homer and an RBI to lead Saugus, while Soucy went 2-for-3 with the double and a walk. Vincej was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run.

The two teams will face each other again on Friday.

“They’re a much-improved team,” Emerson said of Canyon. “We know that everyone in the Foothill League is tough, and the only way to get a win is to go take it, and that’s what we did.”

jgulino@the-signal.com

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