On Wednesday at Saugus High, in the early stages of a sleepy summer evening, Hart High’s Tripp Bowers undertook a daunting mental task.
Due to an error, the rising senior had to continue working when he should have already been out of the first inning.
After five unearned runs had crossed the plate, Bowers finally induced a ground out to end the bottom of the first, found a rhythm and kept Hart in position to earn an 8-7 comeback win over the host Centurions.
Bowers’ final line was four innings, six hits, six runs, none of them earned. It was a break from what’s been a summer of zeros for the tall, lanky righty. But Hart coach Jim Ozella finds turbulence to be more telling than smooth sailing.
“This is what it’s about, learning under fire,” Ozella said. “You can’t really recreate this in practice.”
Of continuing to compete after a two-base error opened the first inning, Bowers said, “You just have to flush it.”
Saugus may take that approach to an error-riddled Wednesday.
The Centurions made six errors, the last the most costly as it allowed Hart to score the go-ahead run in the top of the seventh.
The defensive lapses soiled a solid outing from rising junior Bobby Garcia. The lefty pitched six innings, allowing nine hits and six runs (one earned).
“I thought he did a great job,” said Saugus summer coach Carl Grissom. “He wanted to go back out for the seventh, but his pitches were up and he was tired, so I made the decision to take him out. I thought he did great. We made a lot of mistakes.”
Saugus catcher Cole Gallagher was 2-for-4 at the plate with a two-run double in the first. Saugus led 6-2 after the second inning, but managed just two hits from there against Bowers and reliever Trevor Hoff, who tossed three innings of one-run ball.
Hart rising sophomore Jakob Marquez, a University of Arizona commit, was 2-for-3, while David Holuby was 2-for-4.
Kyle Smisko hooked a pinch-hit RBI single to right in the sixth to tie the score 6-6.
Holuby singled with one out in the seventh and came around to score the game-winning run on a Saugus throwing error.