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Saugus baseball team out in second round of playoffs

The clock struck midnight on the Saugus High School baseball team’s playoff run on Sunday night as they fell 8-0 to Lynnfield in the second round of the state tournament. An 8-0 score certainly suggests a blowout, but Sachems coach Joe Luis said that’s not the case and that he’s proud of all his team accomplished this season, hinting at a bright future.

“It was competitive, we were right in it against Lynnfield … It was 3-0 heading into the fifth and it was only an error or two in the last few innings that blew the game open,” said Luis, whose team played on the road just one day after beating North Reading, 7-4, in round one of the tournament.

Jimmy Alcott was on the mound, as Justin Horvath, who pitched a sterling game against North Reading the day before, needed rest.

Lynnfield’s field is turf. Athletic department policy states that metal cleats aren’t allowed on the turf, which meant Saugus players had to use regular sneakers. “It’s not excuse, it’s just kind of the conditions we had to play in,” Luis said. “It was good experience. We were on the road against a big crowd and a tough environment. But Lynnfield had plastic cleats and we were all in sneakers, not playing in the equipment we’d been using all season.”

Despite the loss, Luis is pleased with what he saw from the team all season. They squeaked into the playoffs but made some noise, particularly with a strong showing against North Reading. In that game, Horvath, Christian Correia and Nick Descoli all tallied RBIs.

“It was a goal of ours to reach the post-season, to play more than the 20 games of the regular season,” Luis said, bringing up a sentiment echoed by Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane in Moneyball.

He continued, “I told the guys that I’d rather lose the way we did to Lynnfield in a playoff game than win the last game of the regular season and not make the playoffs.

“We got a big win in our final game against Winthrop to make the playoffs. We achieved a goal and played well to beat North Reading. We can hang with the best of them, even Lynnfield on the road, and we have a good building block for next season.”

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