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Mouselli stifles Saugus in opener

Posted: March 15, 2008 12:27 a.m.
Updated: May 16, 2008 5:03 a.m.
 
One game into the Foothill League baseball season and Valencia's Robbie Mouselli is already in vintage 2007 form.

A year removed from finishing second in the Foothill League in batting average, RBI's and wins as a pitcher, Mouselli opened League play with more of the same.

From the mound Mouselli threw a complete game four-hitter and at the plate drove in the go-ahead run to power the Vikings to a 4-0 win over Saugus (3-3, 0-1) Friday afternoon at Valencia High.

"He gave us all the same stuff as last year. We knew what to expect," said Valencia head coach Jared Snyder. "But to shut out a team like that is beyond me. I didn't expect that."

While the end result was what Valencia (4-2, 1-0) hoped for, it didn't start off so smoothly.

Centurion lead-off man Troy Ajer singled to open the game and Mouselli promptly walked Zach Vincej to put two on for Stefan Cordes.

Instead of breaking the game open though, Cordes hit into a double play.

"That stuff happens in baseball," said Saugus head coach John Maggiora. "You hit into a double play, maybe our No. 3 hitter hits a double instead, it could have gone either way."

Instead, the ball rolled Mouselli's way and it continued to all day.

The Centurions were only able to put two more men on base the rest of the afternoon.

"I think he settled down after the first inning," Snyder said. "He kept his composure and his pitches in check."

His best innings came when he retired the side in order in the fourth through seventh innings.

"I was trying a little too hard (in the first inning)," Mouselli said. "I was just trying to throw strikes and I knew I could have a chance."

On the other side of the ball it was Valencia's bats that woke up while Mouselli kept Saugus' at bay.

In the bottom of the third the Vikings used a balk from Saugus starting pitcher Shawn Smith to get their first run in position.

After Travis Amerian's infield single, Smith's balk moved Amerian over to second with Mouselli at the plate. Two pitches later Mouselli drove in all the run support he would need.

Mouselli drilled a line drive to center field for a double easily plating Amerian and putting Valencia up 1-0.

On the very next pitch Dylan Jones blooped a double down the right field line scoring Mouselli.

Three batters later Smith threw a wild pitch scoring Jones and putting the Vikings up 3-0 - more than enough of a cushion for Mouselli.

"We have to get into our counts and we got into counts in our favor and we did a good job of taking advantage of that," Snyder said.

Valencia added one more in the sixth when Christian Lopes scored on a passed ball.

Now Valencia and Mouselli sit with the early edge in the Foothill League while perceived front-runner Saugus will look to rebound.

"I believe we have a quality club. We are looked at as the team to beat and we put those expectations on ourselves," Maggiora said. "I think people are going to bring their "A" game against us and take that underdog role but we will never take that underdog role."

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