The Saugus baseball team didn’t waste any time on Wednesday afternoon at Canyon, scoring four runs in the top of the first inning on its way to a 12-5 victory.
Shortstop Hewitt Grissom began the offensive onslaught for Saugus (8-8-1 overall, 5-4 in Foothill League), hitting the first pitch he saw for a triple, then was brought home by Jarrett Farmer’s single to left.
Grissom finished the game 3-for-4 with a triple, two singles, a walk and four runs scored. Farmer went 4-for-5 with three singles, a double, three runs and two RBIs.
“After I got that triple in the gap, I knew that Jarrett Farmer would step up and bring me in because he’s been the RBI man all year,” Grissom said. “I’m happy for him and what he’s done this year.”
Farmer banged up his shoulder in Monday’s game against Golden Valley and did so again on Wednesday, running into Canyon (3-12, 2-7) first baseman Justin Powell on a pop fly.
Even while nursing a sore shoulder, the senior delivered a solid performance to help lead the Centurions to a win.
“He’s an animal for doing that. He was probably a little hurt, just didn’t say anything, kept his mouth shut and went 4-for-5,” Grissom said about Farmer. “He’s just an animal for that and I respect him.”
After Farmer scored Grissom, he stole second base, then Brandyn Cruz was hit by a pitch, giving Saugus runners on first and second. Jacob Beauchamp blasted a double to score Farmer and advance Cruz to third, and pitcher Tony Jacob grounded out, but logged an RBI as Cruz was able to score.
Anthony Ramirez then launched a double that scored Beauchamp, but was called out trying to stretch the double into a triple.
The Cents didn’t stop there, scoring two more runs in the top of the second inning with two outs.
Nolan Kutcher reached first on a Canyon error, then Grissom came up with a base hit, moving Kutcher to third. Farmer came up with another RBI single to score Kutcher and Cruz delivered an RBI single, scoring Grissom.
“If they continue to swing the bats, they swung at some good pitches. The lefty Jace (Root) is very good, they waited for their pitches, not trying to hit his pitches,” Saugus head coach Carl Grissom said. “It was good, they took some solid at-bats and the scoreboard showed it.”
After giving up six runs in the first two innings, Canyon’s Jace Root was pulled in favor of Collin Cunningham in the third inning, but Cowboys head coach Justin Stark wasn’t concerned about the junior.
He fully expects the southpaw to be ready for his next outing on the mound.
“I don’t need to say much to Jace, he knows exactly what he did,” Stark said. “At the end of the day, they hit the ball really well. They took advantage of his mistakes, but it’s not going to bother Jace down the road. He’ll be ready to go.”
The Cowboys were able to score one run in the bottom of the third inning, as catcher Tyler DeYoung hit a double to left, then advanced to third on a wild pitch. Center fielder Noah Blythe hit a sacrifice fly to score DeYoung, bringing the score to 6-1.
Grissom got the scoring going again for Saugus in the fourth, leading off the inning with a single, then Farmer continued the trend with a single of his own. Both players advanced on a bad throw from Canyon, leading to a sacrifice fly from Cruz to score Grissom.
Beauchamp came up with his second hit of the afternoon, scoring Farmer on an RBI single.
“He wanted to come out today and perform and he did it,” Grissom said about his son Hewitt’s production. “All the boys have a running competition, they all want to be on top and that’s great, it’s healthy. It was Nolan, now it’s Hewitt, and who is going to be the next guy? Just keep on going, next guy up and if we do that we’ll be fine.”
Beauchamp finished the game 2-for-2 with a double, single, walk, one run and three RBIs. Cruz went 2-for-2 with two singles, a run and three RBIs. Jacob and Ramirez had two RBIs apiece.
Trailing 8-1 in the bottom of the fifth, the Cowboys continued to battle, scoring four runs in the inning.
Brandon Whiting started the inning with a single, followed by a single from DeYoung. Blythe came up to the plate and launched a three-run home run past the center field wall.
Charles Harrison then got on base with a double, followed by a single from Powell. Josh Ortega hit a sacrifice fly to score Harrison, bringing the score to 8-5.
DeYoung finished the game 2-for-3 with a double, single, a walk and two runs. Blythe went 1-for-2, logging four RBIs and a run.
“They brought energy and they competed. Tyler puts on a show every time he gets out here, it’s pretty awesome to watch. Noah, I’m happy to see him doing well,” Stark said. “He struggled a little bit this year and I really think he’s coming around. He’s bringing a lot of positive energy around this place.”
The Centurions answered the Cowboys’ four-run inning with four runs of their own in the top of the sixth.
As if it was deja vu, Grissom started the inning by getting on base with a walk and Farmer nailed a line drive double to left. Cruz hit a single to score Grissom, then Beauchamp hit a sacrifice fly to score Farmer.
Jacob came up with his first hit of the game, an RBI triple scoring Cruz, then Ramirez hit a sacrifice fly to score Jacob.
Cole Gallagher came in to close out the game in the seventh, delivering three quick outs to secure the Saugus win.
Canyon and Saugus will face off again on Friday at Saugus High School at 3:30 p.m.
“They came back, it was 8-5, they battled. Anybody can beat anybody in this league, I don’t take anybody for granted,” the elder Grissom said. “I’m sure they’re going to be ready to go on Friday. We got to match their energy and their intensity and try to get another ‘W.’”