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Foothill baseball: Indians are more timely

Hart isn’t perfect, but scores when needed in win over Saugus

Posted: March 15, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: March 15, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Hart High pitcher Zachary Hanks delivers a pitch on Wednesday at Hart High School against Saugus.

 

Saugus High baseball’s problem wasn’t necessarily hitting when it hosted Hart in the Foothill League opener for both schools Wednesday afternoon.

It was clutch hitting.

The Centurions stranded 10 runners in seven innings, including four runners in scoring position with under two outs, and the Indians took advantage in an 8-2 victory.

“We’re going to have to do all three (aspects of the game well to win),” said Saugus head coach John Maggiora. “We hit well at times, just not in the clutch. We pitch well and we defend well.”

Hart (4-4 overall, 1-0 Foothill League) left its fair share of runners on base, as well, with nine, but the Indians managed timely hitting — scoring two runs in four different innings to secure the win.

After falling behind 2-0 after one inning of play, the Indians battled back in the top of the second to tie the game at two runs apiece.

Hart added two more in the fourth inning when Tyler Webb drove in Nick Valaika and eventually scored on a wild pitch.
“We did a good job of executing on offense,” said Hart head coach Jim Ozella. “We tried to put the ball in play a lot. We tried to take what they gave us. We had good at bats for seven innings.”

Zachary Hanks took the mound for Hart, pitching three innings and allowing five hits and two runs.

Hanks worked out of a jam in the second inning, when Saugus (4-3-1, 0-1) loaded the bases with one out.

The junior pitcher induced an infield fly and a strike out in consecutive at bats to end the inning.

In the third, Saugus had runners on second and third, but again failed to score.

Ricky Torres pitched three innings in relief for Hart, with one walk and one strike out, allowing four hits.

Luke Persico led the Indians at the plate, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs.

For Saugus, Justin Donatella started the game and went 5 1/3 innings, allowing eight hits, five runs and a walk, while striking out three batters.

Chris Danielson pitched 1 1/3 innings in relief and gave up three runs, one earned, on four hits and a walk.

“I thought (our pitching) wasn’t great, but it was good enough to keep us in the game,” Maggiora said. “We left 10 runners on base, that will get you, especially early in the game. The pitching was equal, defensively we were equal, but when you’ve got guys out there you have to bring them in.”

And the story isn’t so different for Hart, either.

Despite posting eight runs in its league opener, Ozella knows the Indians will need to improve their overall game to compete in the Foothill League.

“Everything,” he said when asked what specifically Hart needs to do better.

“We’re a young team. We have a lot of kids where this is their first time at the varsity level. We have a lot to improve on to be a good ball club. We won today but that just mean’s we’re 1-0.”

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