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Saugus baseball holds off Valencia

The victory puts Saugus in a three-way tie for first place in league standings

Posted: March 22, 2013 10:36 p.m.
Updated: March 22, 2013 10:36 p.m.

Saugus catcher Nick Warren, left, and pitcher Chris Danielson celebrate their 4-3 win over Valencia on Friday at Saugus High School.

 

So much for the possibility of a frontrunner emerging early in the Foothill League.

Chris Danielson earned the win, pitching a complete game and the Saugus Centurions played good situational baseball to hold off the Valencia Vikings 4-3 on Friday at Saugus High School.

The result creates a log jam at the top of the league standings with Valencia, Saugus and the Canyon Cowboys all tied for first.

“That’s how it’s going to be. Everybody’s kind of in it,” said Saugus head coach John Maggiora. “This is a good league.”

The Centurions (7-4 overall, 3-1 Foothill League) scored three runs in the third inning and added one in the fourth to pull in front 4-0.

But Valencia (6-2, 3-1) has shown the ability to rally back after coming from behind twice to win games against Golden Valley and West Ranch last week.

This time, despite a three-run home run by Hunter Holland in the fifth, the Vikings were stopped just short of another comeback bid.

“We’ve made a habit of chasing and needing a big inning,” said Valencia head coach Jared Snyder. “Today, Danielson prevented us from having a big inning.”

The Saugus senior left-handed pitcher was on point from the start, getting ahead in counts and keeping the ball down in the strike zone.

Danielson allowed the three runs, two of them earned off five hits while he had six strikeouts and no walks.

His only miscue came on a 3-2 change-up that Holland drove over the left-center field wall in the fifth with Kyle Sanchez and Devon Davis on base.

The hit didn’t appear to rattle Danielson, who retired the last nine batters he faced in the game.

“I knew that our guys were going to come up with big hits and play defense, so that’s a good confidence booster,” Danielson said.

Saugus got the scoring going in the third when catcher Nick Warren tripled into right-center field off Valencia’s Luke Soroko to bring home Caden Salkeld and Rex Kemple.

The next batter, Joey Mendez, plated Warren on a sacrifice fly.

In the fourth inning, Roy Verdejo scored Saugus’ final run from third base on a groundout by Cade Albert.

“We did good things to get those runs,” Maggiora said. “I don’t think they gave us those runs.”

All four runs were allowed by Soroko, who gave up six hits and struck out one in four innings of work.

Both teams conclude the first round of league play on Wednesday, which leads into Spring Break.

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