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Foothill baseball: Lesson learned

Saugus holds off Grizzlies’ late rally

Posted: April 30, 2010 11:16 p.m.
Updated: May 1, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Saugus' Michael Soucy makes contact in the fourth inning Friday against Golden Valley at Golden Valley High School. The Centurions held off the Grizzlies' late rally to win 7-4.

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Looking to avoid a repeat of Wednesday's seventh-inning loss to Golden Valley, the Saugus baseball team once again found itself looking to protect a lead going into the final frame.

Though things were beginning to look eerily similar, the result was different.

With two outs and the bases loaded with Grizzlies, Centurions pitcher Garrett Smith fielded Justin Jamroz's come-backer and outraced him to first base to preserve the 7-4 lead on Friday at Golden Valley High School, snapping Saugus' three-game losing streak.

"We were going to go to our closer, but thought that Garrett (Smith) was a better ground-ball pitcher, so we let him get after it," said Saugus head coach John Maggiora.

Smith, who had relieved starter Scott Kerrigan in the fourth inning, struggled in the seventh, walking one batter and striking out another before hitting Jon Granado with a pitch. After Brandon Smith popped up, Garrett Smith hit another batter to load the bases with two outs.

Garrett Smith said it "just seemed fitting" that he got to make the final play of the game.

"I'm happy he left me in," Smith said. "I really wanted to finish the job."

Golden Valley (10-11, 5-6) head coach Scott Drootin said that his team is getting better, but still has a long way to go.

"Give Saugus all the credit," Drootin said. "Their pitcher did great and they hit the ball out when they had to."

Saugus (14-8, 6-5) took a 3-0 lead in the first frame, getting two home runs on Golden Valley starting pitcher Josh Smith. James Threw hit a solo shot and Justin Sheehan's two-run homer plated Michael Soucy, who reached on a fielding error.

Golden Valley cut the lead to 3-2 in the second inning, after a single by Smith and a double by Anthony San Miguel. Smith scored on a wild pitch and Riley Sherwood hit a sacrifice fly to score San Miguel.

Saugus got a second home run from Sheehan in the fourth inning to extend its lead to 4-2.

Golden Valley battled back to tie the score at 4-4 in the next frame, fueled by doubles by Granado, Jamroz, and Riley Sherwood, and a sacrifice fly by San Miguel.

The Centurions regained the lead in the fifth inning when Soucy's RBI double scored Connor Stevenson for a 5-4 lead. The Grizzlies intentionally walked Sheehan to load the bases, but the move backfired when Matthew Emerson was hit by a pitch during the ensuing at-bat, scoring Nick Lombardi and giving the Centurions the 6-4 edge.

A home run by Soucy in the seventh inning scored the final run for the Centurions. Soucy was 2-for-4 in the game with a home run, a double, and two RBIs.

Sheehan, who moved to the fourth spot in the batting order because of the absence of injured teammate Brad Buchignani, finished the game with 2-for-2 with two home runs and three RBIs.

"I wanted to be able to capitalize with runners on," Sheehan said. "I was just trying to drive the ball and drive in the runners."

For Golden Valley, San Miguel was 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs.

"I thought we were going to come back," San Miguel said. "We should have turned it on in the beginning."


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