The Saugus High School baseball team experienced both sides of a similar scenario in its two Div. 3 tournament games. In last Saturday’s preliminary round contest against Martha’s Vineyard at World Series Park, the Sachems fell behind 4-0 in the top of the first inning before battling back for an eventual 6-5 win. That script was flipped somewhat in Monday’s Round of 32. Saugus held a 5-4 advantage over the fifth-seeded Foxborough Warriors heading into the bottom of the seventh inning. But back-to-back home runs by Foxborough’s Ryan LeClair and Sean O’Leary gave the host Warriors a dramatic 6-5 victory.
It was a tough loss to swallow for the 28th-seeded Sachems, who demonstrated that they were much more formidable than their regular-season record indicated. Monday’s defeat ended Saugus’s 2022 season at 11-11 overall with a postseason win on the resume. Saugus scored two playoff wins in last year’s tournament.
Nathan Ing belted a home run and had two hits to lead the Saugus offense. Ryan Anderson chipped in with two hits and an RBI, and Drew Gardiner and Braden Faiella also drove in runs. The Sachems had to fight to the final day of the regular season to secure a postseason spot when they defeated Everett to get in.
In last Friday’s comeback victory over No. 37 Martha’s Vineyard, Saugus scored twice in the bottom of the first frame and four more times in the third to take a lead they would not relinquish. Anderson swatted two hits and managed two RBI to lead the way.
Two other players – Cam Soroko and Anthony Cicolini – ended up with two knocks, followed by single hits from Anthony Macone, Michael Howard and Can Bernard. Ing was the winning pitcher, working all seven frames, giving up no hits and striking out 11 after replacing starter Ryan Mabee in the first inning.
Ending up just one inning away from making the Round of 16, the Sachems proved worthy of their tourney qualification. The team was in danger of not making the postseason after losing three straight and falling to 8-10 with two games left. Consecutive wins over Everett to conclude the regular schedule catapulted the Sachems into the playoffs.