Saugus faced off against Granada Hills Charter at Saugus on Wednesday afternoon in the second game of the VIBL season.
In a combined three-pitcher effort, the Centurions pulled out the win, only allowing five hits on the day to defeat the Highlanders 6-1.
Losing seven players to graduation, second-year Saugus head coach Carl Grissom is working on replacing key players from last year’s fourth-place Foothill League team.
“They just need to contribute,” Carl said. “They don’t have to do everything. That’s what I tell them. When your number is called just do your job and that’s what they did and they did it well today.”
The Centurions (1-0-1) were able to go up 1-0 in the second inning on an RBI single from Jonathan Bahr, who finished 3-for-3 with two RBIs.
“I think it’s just great to be out here with the new guys,” said returning starter Hewitt Grissom. “Obviously it’s kind of different without all the seniors from last year, but we are still getting used to it. It’s fun and I like all these guys.”
Starting pitcher Anthony Ramirez went three innings, finishing the game with one earned run on three hits and six strikeouts.
“Not my best performance, but it got the job done,” Ramirez said. “We really need it and I’m glad that we got the win after the tie to Royal (on Monday).”
After the Highlanders tied things up in the top of the third, the Centurions answered with a run of their own after a ball got past the Highlander catcher, giving Hewitt, who was waiting at third, enough time and space to steal home.
“He’s just gotten better over time,” Carl said. “It’s hard to critique your son, but he works hard and everything that happens for him is because he always puts in the work.”
With lefty pitcher Bobby Garcia coming in for Ramirez in the top of the fourth, the door was all but shut for a Highlander come back.
Striking out six of the eleven batters he faced, only allowing two hits, Garcia proved that the Saugus rotation is just as solid as ever.
“I’m super stoked for this season,” Garcia said. “Obviously, right now in summer it’s kind of a proving ground. We have a bunch of good pitchers that want the starting spot, so starting now we have to show coach what we are about and see who’s the one.”
Adding another two runs apiece in the fourth and sixth innings, the Centurions look like they are ready to get after it this season after ending their most recent Foothill League season with a loss against Canyon.
“We really just want to win league this year,” Hewitt said. “We are just going to keep working and trying to get that and beat all the teams and get revenge against Canyon because they beat us last year.”