Valencia baseball beats Saugus to keep first-place standing

On the first pitch in the first inning, Valencia baseball’s Davis Cop hit a double to left field. The moment set the tone for the Vikings’ hitting in a 4-1 win over Saugus at Saugus High School on Friday.

After the double, Cop was able to hit a solo home run to opposite field and a single in the sixth inning.

“He just did what he’s been doing all year,” said Valencia coach Mike Killinger.

In the first inning, Cop made it to third base on a passed ball after hitting his double. Kyle Barileau grounded out to drive him in and get Valencia on the board.

The Centurions were able to score their only run of the game in the bottom of the second inning. Hayden Trowbridge hit an RBI single to score Brandyn Cruz to tie the game at 1-1.

“They’re full of three- and some four-year starters on varsity and they have a lot of experience and they’re not going to give you anything,” Killinger said. “You have to earn what you have against them.”

Valencia was able to put up two runs in the fourth inning. Parker Simonian hit an RBI single, driving in Mitchell Torres. Then, Matt Cotti reached first due to a Saugus error to score Brock Kleszcz. Owen Strader was out at third base, but Parker Simonian made it to second base on an error.

Cop belted his home run in the first at-bat of the fifth inning to seal the game.

In addition to going 2-for-3 at the plate, Torres also pitched 6 ⅓ innings, giving up four hits while striking out five batters. After seeing minimal time on the mound last season, Torres has established himself as one of the most reliable pitchers in the Vikings’ rotation.

“We knew he was going to be very important coming into this season,” Killinger said. “Over the summer and fall he was able to establish himself as one of the guys who could give us good outings every time.”

Ryan Kysar took over in relief and recorded one strikeout. Kysar has been gradually getting more innings after recovering from injury earlier this season.

Valencia holds on to its first-place standing in the Foothill League with the win. West Ranch is right behind them in second place after beating Hart on Friday.

“Based on how both of us have played, it’s going or come down to how well West Ranch and Valencia are able to finish the season,” Killinger said of the competition for the league title.

The Vikings next host Canyon at 3:30 on Tuesday and Saugus hosts West Ranch on the same day at the same time.

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About the author

Haley Sawyer

Haley Sawyer

A Pennsylvania native, Haley Sawyer has covered sports across the country. She is a graduate of Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh and is the sports editor at The Signal.