As the saying goes, anything can happen in baseball.
And it proved true Wednesday at Canyon High.
Trailing by five runs in the top of the seventh, the Saugus Centurions used an eight-run, two-out rally to come back and beat the Canyon Cowboys 11-8 in a wild Foothill League opener.
“Honestly, I had a speech ready” said Saugus head coach John Maggiora. “You hate to say that, you always believe in your team, but there’s times when you tell yourself, ‘What am I going to tell them after the game?’ We’re happy we won, but we know there’s certain things we did today that aren’t going to work in future games.”
The Centurions’ eight-run inning was the second crooked number on the scoreboard, as it matched Canyon’s eight-run outburst in the fifth.
Sophomore pitcher Brandyn Cruz was in ‘Cruz’ control for Saugus (2-6 overall, 1-0 in Foothill) through the first four innings. But he lost command in the fifth, and the Cowboys took advantage.
Jacob Arguellez capped the rally with a double to score Nick Jenkins and Charles Harrison and give Canyon (0-6, 0-1) an 8-3 lead.
“I was just going out there trying to throw strikes, and then in the fifth inning it fell apart a little bit,” Cruz said. “I’m never going to let that happen ever again.”
Canyon starting pitcher Matt Serrano was in line for the win, but new CIF pitch-limit rules prevented him from going the distance. After throwing 105 pitches and nearing the 110-pitch limit, Serrano was removed with an 8-3 lead and two outs in the top of the seventh.
That’s when the Saugus offense exploded.
The Centurions tallied five hits and sent 12 hitters to the plate – seven with the final out looming.
Following Tony Jacob Jr.’s two-out bases-clearing double to tie the score, designated hitter Austin Scott put Saugus ahead for good 11-8 with a three-run double.
“That one really stings,” said Canyon coach Drew Peterson. “To have a game like that, an opportunity to win a ball game right there, and to let it get through your fingertips like that, it stings.”
Though only one team left victorious, both teams appeared to break out of early-season scoring struggles. Entering Wednesday, Canyon and Saugus combined to score just 13 runs in 12 games.
The Cowboys will play at Golden Valley Friday, while Saugus hosts Valencia.