For West Ranch High baseball, a one-run win is still a win. For Saugus High, there’s a little more meaning attached to a one-run result.
The two teams’ coaches had contrasting outlooks after the Wildcats’ 5-4 win over the Cents on Wednesday at West Ranch.
“We’re looking for wins,” said Cats coach Casey Burrill. “We don’t care if it was by 10 runs, two runs, one run. We just needed the ‘W.’”
The Centurions, who have lost eight games total this season by one run, are searching for a solution.
“A lot of times it’s little things,” said Cents coach John Maggiora. “When you lose those one-run games, you pull your hair out looking for that one little thing, and you usually can find them pretty easily.”
A late start was a Saugus downfall Wednesday. West Ranch (16-6 overall, 9-1 in Foothill League) scored five runs before the Centurions began to generate offense of its own in the sixth inning.
West Ranch’s Evan Gellatly scored on Jovan Camacho’s sacrifice fly in the third inning. On the next at-bat, Nico Valdez hit an RBI single to pull the Cats to an early 2-0 lead.
Will Chambers had the biggest hit of the game, smacking a three-run double in the fifth inning.
“We were just really excited,” Chambers said of his team’s reaction to the hit. “It was a really big team win, and a lot of us were just really happy and ready to go.”
In the sixth, Austin Scott had an RBI groundout to put Saugus (9-17, 4-6) on the board.
Cent Nolan Kutcher hit an RBI double in the seventh to set the score to 5-2 before Saugus scored two runs on a Chase Lindemann sacrifice fly and on an error.
“I told them, we’ve played 25 games this year, and I think we’ve been in 23 of them,” Maggiora said. “So our guys, they battle. I have no fault against our guys’ effort. They battled. Just coming up short.”
West Ranch’s Alex Burge pitched six innings and allowed one hit while recording two strikeouts. Dom Eberle closed out the game and allowed three hits.
“It’s phenomenal,” Burge said of the camaraderie between pitchers and other players. “We all hang out with each other, we all love each other and we’re just, we’ve all got each other’s backs.”