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Valencia baseball locks down Saugus

Posted: April 30, 2014 10:21 p.m.
Updated: April 30, 2014 10:21 p.m.

Valencia pitcher Kevin Chandler throws against Saugus at Saugus High School on Wednesday.

 

Typically it’s the Saugus baseball team shutting opposing teams down with its pitching.

But on Wednesday, Valencia starter Kevin Chandler flipped the script as he led the Vikings to a 5-0 win over the Centurions at Saugus High.

Chandler pitched a complete-game shutout and held Saugus hitless in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.

“(Chandler) had been struggling a little bit the last couple of weeks but he pitched well today,” said Valencia interim head coach Mike Killinger. “Every game we can get one in the win column gets us one step closer. Saugus has a good pitching staff. They haven’t given up many runs all year and we were able to work really well to the opposite field.”

Coming into Wednesday’s game, Saugus pitchers hadn’t allowed a Foothill League opponent to score more than two runs since losing to Valencia 7-1 on March 13.

The Vikings (15-6 Overall, 7-3 Foothill League) took the lead in the third inning when Keston Hiura scored on a Chad Bible sacrifice fly.

Valencia added another in the fifth but broke the game open in the sixth when, with two outs and the bases loaded, Devon Davis hit a towering pop-up behind second base that got caught in the wind. Saugus shortstop Brenden Griffith had trouble reading the ball and let it drop, scoring Jacob Silva and Kyle Fleischman.

Hiura later came in on a passed ball to give Valencia its final 5-0 lead.

“(Valencia) had some good at-bats,” said Saugus head coach John Maggiora. “They drew some walks, they had a good plan going the other way and their pitcher did a great job. I think that was key for them.”

Chandler picked up his fourth win of the season and his first complete-game shutout of a Foothill League team.

“I’ve been working on my mechanics and control in the bullpen lately and it’s been paying off,” Chandler said. “But it was a team win. Pitching is a lot easier when you have the kind of defense I have behind you.”

With Valencia’s win and Hart’s loss on Wednesday, Saugus, Valencia, Hart and West Ranch all have 7-3 records for first place in league. Valencia will try for a season sweep of Saugus on its home field on Friday.

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