Saugus plays soggy,
but improves to 2-0
Team advances to semi-final round
Sometimes winning ugly is OK. After all, a
win is a win.
Saugus’s 2-1 triumph over Richland, WA Sunday afternoon in front of
9,650 at Lamade Stadium wasn’t exactly pretty. Errors, and runners
getting doubled off the bases slowed the Saugus All-Stars’ winning
effort. But they were able to walk away with a victory that ensured
themselves of a spot in either Wednesday’s or Thursday’s United States
“At times we played very well; at times we
didn’t play very well,” said Saugus head coach Rob Rochenski. “The
defense was getting a little too fancy there. We gave them quite a few
outs. We haven’t had a game like that in a while.”
That defense committed 5 errors to be
exact, but making the plays when they had to and clutch pitching by
starter Matthew Muldoon sealed Washington’s fate.
Saugus up 2-1 in the bottom of the 6th and Richland closing in on
tying – or winning – the game with one out and runners on 2nd and 3rd,
Muldoon struck out Eric Yardley with a fastball at the eyes, and then
induced Kelly Castleberry to ground out to second baseman Joseph Kasabuski for the final out.
“I thought that if I don’t catch it, I’m
going to get ‘boo’ed,” Kasabuski said.
“He didn’t have his
best stuff early,” Rochenski said of Muldoon. “It’s a sign of a good
pitcher that he can come through and still pitch well and still pitch
Petruzzelli’s RBI ground out to 3rd in the top half of the 6th proved
to be the game winner. The grounder scored David Ferreira, who led off
the frame with a walk, and then advanced to 2nd on Tyler Grillo’s
single and to 3rd on a wild pitch.
Calla’s bases-loaded walk in the 2nd brought home Saugus’s first run.
Two base-on-balls and Tyler Grillo’s perfectly executed drag bunt down
the first-base line had filled the sacks.
Saugus did leave the bases loaded that
inning, and failed to crack open the game on 2 other occasions as
well. The Massachusetts state champs put the ball in play all
afternoon, not striking out once in 28 plate appearances.
“We usually get double that in one game,”
Kasabuski said in reference to the 4 runs Saugus has scored in 2 games
at Williamsport. “They’ve all been tough games.”
Muldoon had also faced a bases-loaded
situation in the 5th, but got out of it when Cody Shepherd grounded to
Kasabuski, who flipped the ball to Scuzzarella, who was covering 2nd.
“I just tried to throw strikes and get
people out,” Muldoon said.
Rochenski: “Matt’s a good pitcher. He’s intimidating out there.”
Washington hitters certainly didn’t mail
it in, putting those runners in scoring positions multiple times.
“I fully expected us to bust it wide
open,” said Washington manager Bob Jacobs. “We liked our chances in
those situations, but we didn’t get it done today.
“(Muldoon) had some good heat. We didn’t
get the barrel of the bat around on those swings. Hats off to him.”
The Richland All-Stars fell to 0-2 in Pool
A play while Saugus improved to 2-0. Monday night’s match-up featuring
Saugus and Boynton Beach will be for first-place honors.