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CIF baseball: A big inning and big win

Saugus scores seven in sixth for first playoff win since '09

Posted: May 19, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 19, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Saugus players cheer as teammate Spencer Daniels (14) gets on base in the first inning of the Centurions’ 10-2 victory over Oxnard at Saugus High on Friday in the CIF-Southern Section Division I playoffs.

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It was a game between two baseball teams trying to squeeze as much as they could out of their starting pitchers.


Saugus got just a little more out of right-hander Justin Donatella.


The Centurions turned a pitcher’s duel into a blowout with a seven-run sixth inning, beating Oxnard High 10-2 on Friday in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division I playoffs at Saugus High.


“I think our guy had a little more steam than their guy,” said Saugus head coach John Maggiora.


It was the first playoff win for the Centurions (17-10-1) since 2009.


Both starters had to battle out of some threatening situations and both had pitch counts in the triple digits, but Oxnard’s Oscar Sandoval blinked first.


With the score locked up at 2-2 and two out in the fifth inning, Saugus’ Chris Devery drove a 3-2 pitch over the left-center field wall for a go-ahead solo home run.


It was Sandoval’s 102nd pitch of the game.


“I’m sure he was just mad and he threw me a fastball,” said Devery, who finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs.


Donatella then finished up the sixth inning after 102 pitches of his own, allowing two earned runs off seven hits along the way. He struck out four.


For the Yellow Jackets (19-8), Sandoval’s day was finished after five, and Saugus broke the game wide open once it got to the bullpen in the sixth.


“The wheels fell off,” said Oxnard head coach Alfred Tarazon. “It was very evident, we pull our guys out, they proceeded to score seven.”


The Centurions sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning and scored all seven runs before an out was recorded.


Devery and Andru Cardenas had back-to-back two-RBI doubles and Spencer Daniels knocked in a run on a single to cap off a 2-for-3, two-RBI day.


Two runs were also scored on bases-loaded walks.


Saugus had chances to score more runs early in the game, but left seven runners stranded in the first four innings.


Oxnard also squandered its fair share of opportunities. Oxnard batters struck out to end both the second and fifth innings with runners on second and third base.


“You get the key hit, we would have scored the runs,” Tarazon said. “We had our chances.”


J.R. Barnuelos drove in a run for the Yellow Jackets in the first and Carlos Sanchez hit an RBI single in the fifth, which made the score 2-2.


Saugus also scored in the first when Daniels came across on a throwing error to first base with two out.


Daniels then plated Nick Warren on a triple to right field in the fourth.


Saugus will play J.W. North High in the second round at a location to be determined by a coinflip.


“It’s a good experience and I want to keep going and see how far we can take this,” Devery said.


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