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Prep baseball: Cents find their ways

Patience pays off as Saugus sweeps the Cowboys

Posted: April 28, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: April 28, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Saugus pitcher Chris Danielson, right, tags Canyon’s Taro Okada on Friday at Saugus High School. Saugus defeated Canyon 3-2 to pull into a first-place tie with Hart and West Ranch.

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Call it scrappiness or call it luck.

Either way, it’s another tally in the win column for Saugus baseball, which scored two runs in the sixth inning in a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over Canyon on Friday at Saugus High School.

After mostly struggling against Canyon starter Chris Serrano most of the game, the Centurions (14-8-1 overall, 8-3 Foothill League) strung together enough patient at-bats to get the job done.

“That was a tough one,” said Saugus head coach John Maggiora. “We definitely had to scrap and claw to get that one.”

The eventual game-winning run came across on a Canyon throwing error that sailed wide of first base in an attempt to get Chris Devery on a double play in the sixth.

Both Dylan Freyre and Austin Rodriguez scored on the play.

With the win, the Centurions completed the three-game season sweep of Canyon (6-17, 2-9) and moved into a three-way tie for first place in league with West Ranch and Hart.

The victory came at the expense of Serrano, who pitched all six innings for the Cowboys, allowing two earned runs on seven hits and striking out five along the way.

Serrano also knocked both of his team’s runs on the day with a two-out, two-RBI triple to right-center field in the top of the sixth.

That gave the Cowboys a 2-1 lead.

“It would have been nice to get the ‘W’ for our guy and reward him for a great performance,” said Canyon head coach Adam Schulhofer of Serrano.

Saugus finally got to Serrano in the fifth when Ruben Cardenas led off with a double and Roy Verdejo hit him home with an RBI single on the very next pitch.

In the sixth, the Centurions loaded the bases with an infield single, a walk and a bunt base hit, setting the stage for Devery’s at-bat.

“Get a good pitch to hit and look for something to drive up the middle,” Devery said of his thoughts going into the play.

Devery hit it hard enough up the middle to easily score Freyre from third, but the second run scored on the errant throw from shortstop.

“You need some breaks in this game,” Maggiora said.

For the first five innings, Serrano was dueling with Saugus starter Chad Bennett, who was nearly flawless through the fifth.
Bennett fanned three Canyon batters and was credited with two earned runs on three hits and three walks.

He pitched into the sixth inning, but was yanked before he could record an out when Canyon loaded the bases with two hits and a walk.

Chris Danielson came in for the Centurions and nearly escaped before giving up the go-ahead triple to Serrano, which was a 3-1 fastball he took to the opposite field.

“As soon as that pitcher fell behind, I was confident,” Serrano said. “It was all on me. I knew my teammates were counting on me.”

Danielson finished the inning out and ended up as the winning pitcher.

Justin Donatella pitched the seventh inning to earn the save for Saugus.

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