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Foothill League baseball: Grizzlies grind it out

Golden Valley rallies from five runs down

Posted: March 27, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: March 27, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Golden Valley catcher Rocky Sherwood (7) hits an RBI single in the fifth inning against Saugus on Saturday at Saugus High School. Golden Valley won the game 8-7.

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This time around, Golden Valley baseball wasn’t going to give in.

Not even after falling behind by five runs.

After being shut out in its first two Foothill League games, the Grizzlies fired back with an 8-7 comeback victory over Saugus on Saturday at Saugus.

The Centurions jumped on Golden Valley starter Scotty Barlow for five runs in the first inning, which prompted the senior to pull his team aside and kick them into gear.

“The first two games of the season, we weren’t really hitting really hitting, so I just told everyone, ‘We’ve got to start right now,’” Barlow said.

Apparently, that was all the Grizzlies (5-3, 1-2) needed, as they crawled back into the game, then held off late threats by the Centurions, including a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the sixth.

The final out of the game was recorded on a controversial play when Saugus junior Andru Cardenas hit a slow grounder to Golden Valley pitcher Joey Anderson with a runner on first.

Anderson’s throw was just in time to first baseman Josh Smith, but Saugus head coach John Maggiora argued that Smith’s foot came off the bag.

“I don’t want to blame this one on the umpires, but we should still be playing,” said Maggiora, who was also quick to give Golden Valley credit.

The comeback began in the third inning, when Golden Valley scored a pair of unearned runs off Saugus starter Kyle Mark, who was removed with one out in the inning.

The first batter reached base on error and the second was hit by a pitch before Adrian Carballo hit an RBI single.

Teammate Tanner Swire brought the second run home when he grounded into a fielder’s choice two batters later to bring Anthony San Miguel home, closing the gap to 5-2.

“I knew once we started, we’d get going,” said Golden Valley head coach Scott Drootin of the bats.

Meanwhile, Barlow settled down on the mound, limiting Saugus (3-6, 1-2) to just two more runs in his 5 1/3 innings of work.

“In the last few games, when (the opponent) started scoring runs, we got down. We were just done,” said Smith, who went 2-for-3 with two triples and two RBIs. “So we decided to keep fighting this time.”

Smith, who didn’t start the game, came across to score in the fourth inning on a sacrifice groundout after his first triple.

His second triple, which was hit to nearly the same spot down the right field line, brought in a pair of runs in the fifth inning to put the Grizzlies within a run at 6-5.

That led off a five-run rally in the fifth, which put Golden Valley ahead 8-6, a lead it would hold for good.

“I think they just kept battling is what they did,” Maggiora said. “They just kept chipping away and had good at-bats.”

On top of Carballo’s RBI in the third, he added another when he walked with the bases loaded in the fifth.

Golden Valley Rocky Sherwood also knocked in a run in the fifth as part of a 2-for-4 day.

The Centurions scored all five of their first-inning runs with two outs, including a three-run home run by Chris Devery.

Evan Steen also hit an RBI double in the first and added another RBI on a single in the sixth.

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