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Premonition comes true

Posted: April 24, 2008 1:31 a.m.
Updated: June 25, 2008 5:02 a.m.

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Trevor Matern knew it was coming. He knew Hart was going to win and how it was going to play out.

So, instead of keeping the secret to himself, the Hart shortstop shared the news.

Down 2-0 in the fifth inning, Hart's Matern turned to teammate Spencer Moniz and told him what was going to happen in the seventh inning.

"Matern called it in the fifth and said that I would win the game in the bottom of the seventh with the bases loaded," Moniz said.

Sure enough, Moniz strolled to the plate with Indians at every base and knocked in the winning run in the bottom half of the final frame to send Hart to a dramatic 4-3 victory over Saugus (14-7, 7-3) Wednesday afternoon at Hart High.

In the first meeting of these two teams, the Indians' offense dominated en route to a 12-1 win. This time, however, it was pitching that led Hart (16-5, 9-1) to the victory.

Indian starter Michael Montgomery controlled the Centurion lineup most of the game finishing with 12 strikeouts in just 6 2/3 innings and earning high praise from his coach.

"Outstanding. He was filthy today," said Hart head coach Jim Ozella of Montgomery's performance. "I can't say anything but excellent. He was really good."

Montgomery started the game striking out Saugus leadoff man Troy Ajer and continued that trend by striking out seven of the first nine batters he faced.

"Montgomery was as good as he's been all year," Matern said. "They had some clutch hits but he was just nasty all day. He competed all day long."

Up until the fifth inning, Montgomery was nearly flawless, allowing only one baserunner. In the fifth, though, Centurion Nick Kopacka took a Montgomery fastball and planted it well over the right field wall onto the roof of a portable classroom for a 2-0 Saugus lead.

"He battled. He made him (Montgomery) throw eight pitches and he just won that battle," said Saugus head coach John Maggiora of Kopacka's homer.

But holding down the Indian offense was another story.

After matching Hart's starter pitch for pitch, Centurion starter Jonathan Boersma allowed two runs in the bottom of the fifth to let the momentum swing back to Hart.

"If we get out there and hold them in the fifth to no runs, we probably win that game," Maggiora said.

In the bottom of the sixth, Danny Susdorf doubled in a run to put Hart up 3-2.

The Centurions then fell to their final strike when Montgomery threw a 1-2 curveball to Darren Schweitzer with two outs. Instead of a 13th strikeout, it was a single to center, scoring Zachary Vincej to tie the game.

Hart, however, didn't panic, staging a dramatic seventh inning rally.

Michael Hebert had come on in the fifth to relieve Boersma, and opened the seventh by allowing a single to Trevor Brown.

Jenzen Torres followed with a single, and Jason Rehhaut was hit by an Hebert fastball to set the stage for Moniz.

"I told him it is going to come down to you today," Matern said.

After watching the first two balls go by, Moniz blooped a 2-0 pitch into the outfield for the win.

"I just wanted a pitch I could hit," Moniz said. "He got behind in the count and I got a good pitch and with the infield in it dropped. I was a good feeling. I just had to make sure to touch first."

Brown easily scored and the Indians escaped with a victory and a firm hold on first place in the Foothill League.

Both teams square off again Friday at Saugus High.

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