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Saugus blanks Tide to earn tourney berth

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Facing two consecutive must-win games to end the regular season, the Saugus High School baseball team got the job done by defeating the Everett Crimson Tide twice to punch its ticket to this year’s Div. 3 playoff tournament. After defeating Everett on the road earlier in the week, the Sachems didn’t waste time jumping on the visiting Tide last Friday on Senior Day in an eventual five-inning 12-0 triumph at World Series Park. Saugus built a solid 4-0 lead after three frames and broke it open with four runs each in the fourth and fifth innings.

As it turned out, Saugus really didn’t need the extra tallies as starting pitcher Nathan Ing hurled all five innings and gave up just one hit to complete the shutout. He fanned nine hitters and helped himself on offense by smacking two doubles and driving in four.

The victory lifted the Sachems to .500 with a 10-10 regular-season record. The 10-win mark assured them of a postseason spot. Saugus was awarded the No. 28 seed and will play 37th-seeded Martha’s Vineyard (11-9) in the preliminary round on Friday. Being the higher seed, the Sachems should end up hosting the game. But the location had not been confirmed as of press time.

Several Saugus players had memorable offensive games in Friday’s Senior Day win over the Tide. Ryan Mabee stroked a couple of hits, including a double, and notched three RBI. He was aided by Anthony Macone with two RBI and David Turilli and Sean O’Rourke with an RBI each.

Matt MacEachern and Ryan Anderson celebrated their final regular-season game in a Saugus uniform by contributing a combined four hits. Mabee’s bases-loaded double in the fourth inning was the hit that opened the floodgates for the big win.

The two wins to end the regular season revived the Sachems, who had dropped three straight prior to that and appeared in jeopardy of not making this year’s tournament. Saugus played a tough schedule this season and could prove to be a difficult out in the tournament.

Nathan Ing hurled an impressive one-hitter in a shutout win over Everett last Friday. The victory catapulted the Sachems into the Div. 3 playoff tournament.

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