Saugus baseball and Canyon baseball are in two very opposite positions.
The former is settled in with a coach in the midst of his second summer with the team. The latter doesn’t have a consistent coach and is struggling to find a rhythm.
Friday’s VIBL game between the two made the contradiction very apparent, but also offered a glimpse at what could be as the Centurions beat the Cowboys 14-3 in five innings at Canyon.
Despite missing some players who are playing in a USA Baseball tournament in Arizona, Saugus got off to a quick start, putting up three runs in the first inning off of RBI singles from Jacob Beauchamp and Tyler Hovey in addition to a sacrifice fly from Justin Austel.
“We’re all just trying to grind it out,” said the Cents’ Hewitt Grissom. “Even without our best players, we’re still trying to just pretty much tell people that we’re still good no matter what and get good at-bats without everyone else here.”
Saugus piled on six more runs in the second and third innings combined. Leadoff batter and rising sophomore Evan Jabbaz hit an RBI single and stole second, offering a look at what the Cents could have to offer in the upcoming season.
“He hustles and he hits the ball hard and he does everything right, so it was nice to see him come out today,” said Saugus coach Carl Grissom.
Grissom himself is having a smooth summer. After stepping in to replace former coach John Maggiora last season, the second-year coach has learned a lot in his first season at the helm that has helped him prepare for season No. 2.
“I kind of have an idea of what’s going to happen, what to do and it’s just a lot easier,” Grissom said. “And I’m enjoying it. Before it was stress and just not knowing every day what to do. Should I do this? Should I do that? Now I have a plan and I kind of know what I need to do and I can get it done.”
Canyon, which is finding its way after the resignation of former coach Drew Peterson, got on the board in the third inning. Harold Boyce singled to drive in Luke Hansen to make it 9-1.
The Cents scored five more runs by the conclusion of the fifth inning. In the bottom of the frame, the Cowboys began to wake up.
After singles from Shawn Adams and Jake Milak, Jacob Garcia knocked an RBI double. Hansen followed up with a sacrifice groundout for the final run of the game.
“I think we’re in a good situation even though people could look at it the wrong way,” said Zach Allen, who was filling in for interim coach Chris Serranos.
“We’re down a coach, we don’t know what’s necessarily going to happen, but I think with the group of guys that we have and the groups of kids that are coming in, we’ll be perfectly fine. A lot of the kids are ready for that fresh start.”