MARBLEHEAD — When the Saugus baseball team has its ace Todd Tringale on the mound the goal is simple, knock in runs early to make things easier on the right hander.
That was the formula for the Sachems 6-0 win over Northeastern Conference foe Marblehead Thursday at Seaside Park.
Saugus scored four runs in the second inning off a pair of bases-loaded hits from Skyler Smith and Anthony Cogliano. From there Tringale dominated, striking out 15 in seven innings while allowing one hit.
“Todd was outstanding as usual,” Sachems coach Joe Luis said. “He went off four days rest. He pitched Saturday night against Danvers and he picked up 15 strikeouts in six innings. Today Skyler Smith really came through with the big hit in the second inning. It was huge to get us some momentum.
“When Todd is on the mound we want to push across a couple of runs for him so that he can do his thing,” Luis said. “Skyler broke the ice. We had bases loaded and thought we might only come away with one run. That was big.”
At the plate Smith (2-for-4) led the way with two RBI and a run scored while Cogliano (2-for-3 with a sacrifice bunt) also drove in a pair of runs. CJ Graffeo (1-for-3 with a walk) had one RBI while Jackson Stanton (2-for-4) reached base three times and scored one run. Jack Devereaux, Ryan Beliveau, Grant Rust and Ronnie Paolo each scored one run.
“Jackson Stanton had a big game,” Luis said. “He was hitting the ball well today. And everyone else chipped in at the right time. It was a good team effort.”
The Magicians had no answers for Tringale. Marblehead only had two baserunners all game on a catcher interference and a single by Ben Brennan.
“(Tringale) is a great pitcher and he knows what he’s doing,” Marblehead coach Mike Giardi said. “He had a great rhythm and we didn’t break his rhythm at all. He was pitching with a lot of confidence and once they get that lead I’m sure it’s even a little bit smoother for him out on the mound.”
Marblehead found themselves fighting an uphill battle in the second inning after an infield error and a pair of walks loaded the bases for Saugus with no outs. Smith came through with a two-run double and a few batters later Cogliano knocked in two more runs with a single to put Saugus ahead 4-0.
“We were panicking I think,” Giardi said. “We realized that runs were going to be really challenging to get off Tringale and all of the sudden we’re chasing four runs after the second inning. That can be tough.
“In our league right now it’s been whoever makes the fewest mistakes,” Giardi said. “That’s pretty common in baseball anyway. We had an error to start the second inning then we start over thinking. We walk a couple guys, we end up throwing a wild pitch, next guy gets a hit and it just kind of snowballed.”
Brennan’s single and a passed ball put a runner in scoring position in the second inning but that was all Marblehead could manage with Tringale striking out 10 through his first four innings of work.
A pair of singles from Devereaux and Smith put runners on for Saugus in the third inning. A balk and a passed ball allowed Devereaux to score and push the Saugus lead to 5-0.
Saugus added another run in the fourth inning. Poalo reached on a double and Cogliano moved him over to third on a sacrifice bunt. Graffeo plated Paolo on a ground out to first base, stretching the Saugus lead to a comfortable 6-0 before Tringale closed out the win.
“We’re playing the game we want to be playing,” Luis said. “Pitching and defense, we made some nice plays in the field. That’s key and we still played small ball too. We’re not a team that typically goes out there and gets 11 hits. We still bunted, we still did a hit-and-run, we tried to get guys across the plate playing small ball. We just have to keep doing that. We have six games left. Even though we are 11-3 we’re just looking at the next game. We’re not looking at the tournament. We just want to play one game at a time as they come at us.”
The Sachems will have some rest before hosting Swampscott Monday (4). The Magicians (7-6) will hope to rebound Saturday (3) at Danvers.