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Hart baseball defeats Saugus 3-2 on walk-off balk

Posted: April 12, 2013 8:13 p.m.
Updated: April 12, 2013 8:13 p.m.


The final margin was predictable, but the ending was not Friday at Hart High School.

With one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh, a balk was signaled by the home plate umpire on Saugus pitcher Dylan Freyre.

The call allowed Cody Miller to cross the plate for the winning run as the Hart Indians defeated the Saugus Centurions 3-2, in an outcome that adds to the recent history of one-run games between the schools.

“It’s always a battle with them,” said Hart head coach Jim Ozella. “Three games this year, three last year, and three the year before.”

Since 2011, six of the past eight games between the schools have been decided by one run.

All three have been decided by one run in 2013.

Friday’s game went down to the wire as both starting pitchers battled throughout.

For Hart (7-11 Overall, 3-4 Foothill) Aaron Hamilton earned the win as he pitched a complete game, and bounced back after giving up two early runs in the second inning.

“I wanted to throw strikes and help my team win,” Hamilton said. “After the second inning, I needed to calm myself down, throw strikes, and get back to work.”

Hamilton continued to get stronger and keep his team in the game down the stretch as he limited Saugus to just three baserunners over the final four innings.

The 6-foot-5 senior finished the game giving up seven hits and two walks, and struck out four batters.

However, Saugus (9-9-1, 4-3) starting pitcher Eric Little was also impressive as he pitched into the seventh inning.

He finished the game allowing three runs and six hits, but was removed after loading the bases in the seventh.

“We just continue to challenge him,” said Saugus head coach John Maggiora regarding Little. “The last couple outings, (Little) has been really good. It’s one of those game that neither pitcher deserves to lose.”

The walk-off balk was set up by back-to-back one-out singles by Miller and Joseph Bilbo, followed by a four-pitch walk to Dayton Provost.

Following a pitching change and two pitches thrown by Freyre, the walk-off balk was called.

“It’s an unfortunate way to end the game, but a balk is a balk, and we still have to play within the rules,” Ozella said.

With the standings tight atop the Foothill League, Hart will look to make up ground next week against Canyon, while Saugus looks to bounce back against Golden Valley.

“Today we were passive and didn’t play like a team looking for a sweep,” Maggiora said. “I want to see our guys play with passion and not be content. We need to lay out for balls and give extra effort.”



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