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VIBL: Cents’ familiar result

Saugus reaches VIBL quarterfinals for the second consecutive summer

Posted: July 24, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: July 24, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Saugus pitcher Eric Little delivers against Moorpark in a Valley Invitational Baseball League second-round playoff game on Monday at Saugus High School. Little pitched five no-hit innings to help Saugus win 2-1.

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After being rewarded a bye in the first round of the Valley Invitational Baseball League, Saugus beat Moorpark 2-1 in the second round of the VIBL playoffs Monday at Saugus High.

Saugus starting pitcher Eric Little was very impressive as he recorded one strikeout in five no-hit innings.

“Eric did a great job for us today,” said Saugus head coach John Maggiora. “We’ve made some adjustments and just wanted to get a positive performance from him. We wanted to keep things simple so he pitched from the stretch the whole time.”

Little delivered exactly what the doctor ordered.

After starting the game with an error to leadoff hitter Bradley Fullerton, Little settled down and retired 15 straight Moorpark batters. Of those 15 outs, 13 were by way of the ground ball.

“My curveball was working well for me,” said Little. “I’ve had some trouble in the summer so I just wanted to stay focused today.”

Saugus (9-6-1) had baserunners throughout, but Moorpark’s defense prevented the Centurions from manufacturing any runs.

Moorpark starting pitcher Charlie McQuinn induced inning-ending double plays in three of the first four innings.

McQuinn matched Little by allowing four hits in five scoreless innings, while striking out four.

“This is how he’s looked every outing for us,” said Moorpark head coach Scott Fullerton. “He threw on Saturday so we decided to keep him on a pitch count today.”

The Musketeers (8-7) took the lead in the top of the sixth after Saugus replaced Little with Chris Danielson.

Similarly to Little, Danielson allowed Bradley Fullerton to reach base off an error by the pitcher. Fullerton advanced to second on a balk by Danielson and then came around to score on a two-out RBI single by Sherman Brawner in the sixth to give Moorpark a 1-0 lead.

In the bottom half, Rudy Aguilar and Chris Devery’s back-to-back one-out singles sparked a Saugus rally.

Aguilar and Devery advanced into scoring position when Nick Warren was hit by the pitch.

With the bases loaded, Aguilar scored on an infield single by Ruben Cardenas to tie the game 1-1.

Devery scored to take the lead after Joey Mendez became the second Saugus batter to be hit by pitch in the inning.

In the top of the seventh, Danielson allowed two hits but got out of the jam when third baseman Timmy Kahovec stopped a ground ball, touched third and threw the ball to first for a game-ending double-play.

Saugus will play the winner between Harvard-Westlake and Alemany in the VIBL quarterfinals Wednesday.

“We reached the quarterfinals last summer (in the VIBL), the quarterfinals in CIF last season, and we’re back in the quarterfinals now. I think the baseball Gods might be saying something,” Maggiora said.


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