By Julian Cardillo
The Saugus baseball team has put together a number of memorable wins this season. But Wednesday night’s 9-5, come-from-behind victory against Malden was special in more ways than one.
“Malden, that’s Steve Freker, Saugus’s old coach,” said Joe Luis – Saugus’s current and second-year coach. “I think the guys were really happy to see him again, though there was that added level of pride to show coach Freker that he did a good job coaching his old team.”
Grant Rust, who was two for four on the day with three RBIs, was the spark plug for the Sachems offense. His RBI single in the first put the Sachems up 1-0. He ended up being a hero later in the game, as he recorded two more base hits that scored more runs and flipped the table in favor of the Sachems, who are now 7-6 on the season.
Anthony Cogliano went three for four and John Torres went two for three. Both had a pair of RBIs. Cogliano and Torres helped get runs across in the fourth and fifth innings. Rust provided the game-winner in the seventh.
“We had really good, timely hitting,” said Luis. “We never gave up and our bats were alive. Rust had an excellent game for us, as did Torres and Cogliano, who have been hitting the ball well lately.”
Luis also praised Mike Mabee’s performance on the mound. Mabee had six strikeouts in six innings with three earned runs. Todd Tringale came in and pitched a scoreless seventh.
“I was happy with the pitching, and I felt our defense did a decent job backing up Mike,” said Luis. “Todd didn’t get the save because we were ahead by the seventh, but he did very well to help us close out the result.”
Saugus’s 7-6 record suggests that they’re still a little bit inconsistent. Luis said on Wednesday that he’s very much aware of the difference between a sub-.500 team and an over-.500 team. With the Sachems still having to play some of the top teams in the Northeastern Conference (NEC), Luis is just looking for his players to put in the same sort of effort that came with Wednesday night’s win against Malden.
“We’re 7-6 but we just need to execute and continue playing to our potential,” Luis said. “It doesn’t get any easier. It’s always a battle in this conference. But if we keep up with the timely hitting and limiting mistakes, I think we’ll be able to make a run down the stretch.”
Wood dominates on the mound, leads Saugus past Somerville
By Julian Cardillo
The Saugus girls’ softball team took down Somerville, 2-0, in an NEC tilt on Monday night.
Caitlyn Wood is now 5-7 on the mound this season and put together one of her best performances of the year, striking out 15. Wood pitched seven shutout innings, giving up six hits and no walks. “She was lights out,” said Saugus coach Steve Almquist. “This was a very well-played and well-pitched game by both sides, and it was nice to finally come up on the winning side of a close game.”
The game was scoreless until the top of the fifth. After a Sadie DiCenso double, pinch runner Gaby Surette advanced to third on a fielder’s choice. With two outs, Surette slid home, giving the Sachems a 1-0 lead. “She was able to draw a throw from the Somerville catcher who threw wildly past the third baseman,” Almquist explained.
Saugus scored an insurance run in the top of the seventh when Ashley Shaw walked, stole second and came around to score on a DiCenso single.
Emma Howard went one for four on the night; Wood was a perfect three for three; DiCenso also went three for three, with a double and an RBI. Brittney Sudanowicz had a hit as well.
“I want to sing the praises of two freshmen as well: Cat Schena and Gaby Surette,” Almquist said. “Cat had three stolen bases and Gaby wreaked havoc on the base paths all game long.”
“I’m hoping that with this nail-biting win against Somerville, we can build some momentum which will carry over for the stretch run,” Almquist added. “I think the kids are starting to realize that if we play the way that we are capable of playing, we can play with anyone. It just comes down to a matter of execution.”
For Almquist, better execution may even mean a better record through this point in the season. “We have been competitive in just about every game we have played this season, and with a few breaks we could be 9-3,” Almquist said. “But we’re a 5-7 team and we have nobody but ourselves to blame, so we just need to keep playing hard and the wins will come.”
On Monday, May 14, the team will host Swampscott; the game doubles as a fundraiser for pediatric cancer. A member of the Sachems family has battled cancer and is currently in remission. At the game, the team will sell gold ribbons and rubber bracelets plus slush, candy and food to raise money for Dana-Farber and Boston Children’s Hospital.