Home runs lift West Ranch over Saugus

West Ranch's Garrett Monheim (11) celebrates with teammates Nikko Clarke (15) and Nick Perez (8) after hitting a home run against Saugus on Friday, March 9. Haley Sawyer/The Signal

Saugus baseball was throwing rocks. West Ranch, however, was throwing boulders.

The Wildcats had two massive hits that cleared the Saugus fences and resulted in a 4-2 win on Saturday in a game that was rescheduled from the day prior due to rain.

“I don’t think we had a lot of hits, but they sure were big ones,” said West Ranch coach Casey Burrill. “The two home runs were massive.”

The Centurions (3-6-1 overall, 1-3 in Foothill League) were the first to dent the scoreboard, tallying a run in the second inning. With the bases loaded Cole Gallagher was hit by a Cade Nicol pitch to drive in Anthony Ramirez.

West Ranch (6-3, 3-1) struck back in a big way in the following inning. With Nikko Clark on second after stealing a base and Ryan Camacho on first after an HBP, Garrett Monheim smacked a home run over the right field fence to put three runs on the board.

The senior now has two home runs on six total hits overall this season.

“Sometimes when I hit it I can notice, but a lot of times it’s just hitting the ball and getting around the bases as fast as possible to see how many bases that I can get,” said Monheim of when he gets a big hit.

In the following inning, the Wildcats got another shot of energy in the form of a Ryan Tucker solo home run that went over the left field fence.

West Ranch’s Ryan Tucker makes the catch to get a Saugus runner out at first base in a game on Saturday, March 9. Haley Sawyer/The Signal

“The first two at-bats I tried to take it slow, see some pitches and at third at-bat I really felt like I got the timing down, so just didn’t miss the fastball early and it paid off,” Tucker said.

Saugus was able score another run in the bottom of the inning. Nolan Kutcher grounded out to get Jarrett Farmer home and cut the deficit to 4-2.

Two at-bats later, Wildcats pitcher Cade Nicol was exchanged for Trent Bird. Nicol gave up seven hits while recording six strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings of work. Bird forced a ground out, then had an HBP, but was able to strike out Jacob Beauchamp to get out of the inning.

Bird put in 3 1/3 innings of work, allowing one hit while striking out two batters. JD Callahan came in for the final at-bat, forcing Colton Fitzgerald to ground out.

“Those were our three big arms, those are the guys that we’ll ride the entire season,” Burrill said. “We told all three of them that in certain times at the right time in the game, we’ll use them.”

Cents pitcher Tony Jacob pitched a complete game, yielding four hits and logging eight K’s.

Saugus pitcher Tony Jacob throws a pitch in a game against West Ranch on Saturday, March 9. Haley Sawyer/The Signal

“I thought they responded well,” Saugus coach Carl Grissom said to the adversity his team faced. “We had scoring opportunities, we just lacked the big hit. We had every opportunity to score and it just didn’t happen.”

Saugus beat West Ranch 3-1 in the first game of the Foothill League series on Monday at West Ranch.

“It was really important for us to come out and win,” Monheim said. “Cade shoved the entire game and that puts us in a better spot to possibly take down Valencia and push towards a Foothill League title.”

West Ranch will play El Camino Real on Monday at USC at 4 p.m. and will resume league play on Monday against Canyon. Saugus plays at Hart on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.

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