The cliché says you can never have too much of a good thing – and runs are definitely one of those things.
Canyon coach Drew Peterson had one quick message between each inning for his team: More runs.
The Cowboys scored a trio of runs in the middle of their game against Saugus on Thursday to win the contest 4-2 and take the Foothill League series 2-1.
“I told the boys our backs are against the wall,” Peterson said. “They knew what we had to do these last two games and they battled their butts off on Tuesday to come back and to get a win and they knew what was at stake today and I couldn’t be more proud of all the guys on the team.”
The Centurions’ Andrew Sharp got his team on the board in the first inning with an RBI single. Saugus (12-13-1 overall, 7-8 in Foothill League) was able to hold off Canyon for the following three innings.
In the fifth, however, the Cowboys (14-13, 6-9) came alive to score three consecutive runs on singles from Aydyn Litz, Charles Harrison and Noah Blythe.
“We were just trying to get in the pitcher’s head and just try to rattle him, try to get walks, draw walks and get clutch base hits,” Harrison said. “That’s the main thing. Just put pressure on the defense, make them make plays.”
Cornell doubled then reached home plate on an error by a Saugus left fielder in the sixth inning, then Paxton Cudd drove in the final run for the Cents in the bottom of a frame on a sacrifice fly.
All that was left for the Cowboys was to protect the lead in the seventh.
“We knew that they were down, they didn’t seem like they had a lot of energy and we wanted to get to finish the ball game. Something that we haven’t been able to do,” Peterson said.
Harrison anchored Canyon on the mound, recording seven strikeouts in seven innings.
“Some days he has it and then some days you’ve got a chance to get him and today he just had it,” said Saugus coach Carl Grissom. “He had every pitch working. His fastball, he had his curveball working. When you’re like that, it’s kind of hard to beat.”
The Centurions finish the regular season in fourth place in the Foothill League, while Canyon is fifth. Both teams have a chance to make the CIF-Southern Section playoffs as an at-large bid.
Canyon is once again looking forward to the opportunity to make more runs.
“We’re finally putting everything together and forming a close bond and hopefully we get a shot at playoffs,” Harrison said.
Hart 10, Valencia 1
The Indians (19-12, 12-3) beat the Vikings (14-16, 9-6) at home to officially claim the Foothill League title.
Hart’s Cody Jefferis was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and Brooks Statley was 1-for-2 with three RBIs. Valencia’s Jake Biscailuz drove in the only Viking run of the game.
West Ranch 7, Golden Valley 2
Evan Gellatly went 1-for-3 with two RBIs for the Wildcats, while Garrett Monheim was 1-for-2 with one RBI and Will Chambers was 1-for-1 with one RBI.
The Grizzlies’ Andrew Castaneda went 1-for-1 with one RBI.
West Ranch finishes second in the Foothill League at 11-4 in league and 19-9 overall. Golden Valley is last at 0-15 and 9-19.