While every Saugus baseball player that took the field on Friday at Golden Valley did their job to help secure a 4-0 victory, the afternoon belonged to pitcher Tony Jacob.
The senior lefty relied mostly on his fastball, but also threw changeups and curveballs on his way to a gem, allowing just two hits and striking out 15 batters with one walk.
“I was just trying to do what I got to do. We’ve been having a little bit of trouble as a team, so this was a great team win. Everyone was doing their job,” Jacob said.
“Just a great job, phenomenal job,” fellow pitcher Bobby Garcia said. “Tony came out shoving early and was able to pitch well.”
Jacob struck out nine of the first 10 batters he faced and didn’t allow a hit until the bottom of the fourth inning.
He was also effective at the plate, going 3-for-3 in the five-hole with a double, two singles and an RBI.
“That kid had himself a day, he had everything working. The few mistakes he made we fouled them back. We only really had two opportunities to score on them,” Golden Valley head coach Matt Sorensen said. “He picked his team up, put them on his shoulders and carried them to the win. We just didn’t have an answer for No. 7 today, it was his day.”
Saugus (6-7-1, 3-4 in Foothill League) scored its first run in the top of the third inning. Senior outfielder Cole Gallagher singled to start the inning then moved to third after a well-executed sacrifice bunt from senior catcher Dylan Murray.
Senior center fielder Nolan Kutcher then singled to right to score Gallagher, giving Saugus a 1-0 lead.
“That’s what we have to do when we’re not swinging it. We have to find a way to execute and generate runs and that’s all we need to do and hopefully it’ll open up one day and everybody will be swinging and it will all be dandy,” Saugus head coach Carl Grissom said. “We’ll have another pitching performance like that from somebody else and we can get going.”
The Centurions scored once more in the top of the fourth inning, starting with senior Jarrett Farmer reaching base due to a Golden Valley (5-8, 1-6 in Foothill League) fielding error. He was then able to reach third base on a bad throw to first.
Jacob came up to the plate and smashed his second base hit of the game, scoring Farmer and giving the Cents a 2-0 lead.
“We just got to put the ball in play and it will all work out, keep doing what we’ve been doing,” Jacob said. “We’ve been doing a little bit better offensively. Everyone one through nine is doing their job and that’s how we get a win.”
Saugus put two more runs up in the top of the sixth inning, starting with senior shortstop Hewitt Grissom hitting a chopper that Golden Valley couldn’t handle and sprinting to reach first base safely.
He utilized his quickness once again, rounding the bases with lightning-quick speed to reach home on a double from Farmer.
After Jacob got on base once again with a single, Farmer was able to advance to third, and senior second baseman Jacob Beauchamp hit a sacrifice fly to score Farmer.
Grizzlies senior pitcher Bryson James started the game on the mound and held his own for 3 1/3 innings by striking out four batters and allowing only one earned run, despite dealing with a sore shoulder.
Sorensen pulled James in the fourth after noticing him favor the injury.
“He’s had a sore shoulder the last three days, and so I asked him if he was good today and he said he was good, and then it tightened up on him a little bit in the third inning,” Sorensen said. “I watched him really closely. I saw there was a pitch that he kind of favored it a little bit, and that’s all I needed to see. That’s the last thing we come out here for in the world, is to see a kid get hurt. He gave us everything he had.”
Golden Valley senior Bryant Colon, who started the game at second base, came in to relieve James, logging two strikeouts of his own.
Logan Rightmyer (single) Steven Moreno (single) and Joshua Lee (double) were the only Golden Valley batters to connect with a base hit on the afternoon.
Farmer finished the game 1-for-3 with a double, RBI and two runs. Gallagher finished 1-for-3 with a run and Beauchamp went 1-for-2 with a single and RBI. Kutcher had an RBI, going 1-for-3.
Saugus and Golden Valley will meet again on Monday at Saugus in a game that was rescheduled due to a rainout earlier this week.
“It’s one game at a time. Coach Sorensen is a fantastic coach, he’s got those guys battling, he’s got those guys right there,” Grissom said. “He’s done a fantastic job with his program. One hit here, one hit there, they are right back in the game.”
“That’s what I told the boys in our postgame conference, put this one behind you. You get to play again tomorrow, you get to play again Monday. That’s the beautiful thing about this game,” Sorensen said. “We made adjustments later in the game, that’s the No. 1 thing we have to do. Make adjustments earlier in the game, first, second and third inning and good things are going to happen for us.”