SAUGUS– It took eight innings, 11 stolen bases, 10 hits and the combined pitching efforts of starter Jason Casaletto, and reliever Todd Tringale, but the No. 5 Saugus baseball team put away No. 12 Essex Tech, 3-2 in Sunday’s Division 3 North first-round matchup at World Series Park.
The Hawks got an outstanding pitching effort from senior Christopher Masta, who kept the Sachems from winning the game until the bottom of the eighth.
Tringale led off the bottom of the eighth at the plate, after blowing away Benjamin Condon, Jack Christianson and his counterpart, Masta, in the top of the inning, whiffing all three swinging. Tringale got a slider in the ribs from Masta and took first base. He stole second on the first pitch, with Ryan Beliveau at the plate. On the next pitch, Beliveau dropped a bunt down in front of the plate, looking to move Tringale up to third, but Tech’s catcher fielded the ball and his throw to get Beliveau at first sailed into right field, allowing Tringale to cross home plate with the winning run.
“This was a great game, we wanted to play small ball, putting the ball in play, their pitcher did a great job, but we were able to pull it out, and now we go to Bishop Fenwick (Monday) afternoon,” Sachems coach Joe Luis said. “Their kid (Masta) was outstanding, kept us in check, I give Essex Tech a lot of credit, they really competed. We hadn’t played in 13 days, our offense didn’t get going today, hopefully we can get it going against Fenwick.”
The Hawks scored in the top of the first. Benjamin Condon walked to start the game, and then advanced two bases on a sacrifice bunt. Masta flied out to Anthony Cogliano in center, and Tech had a 1-0 lead.The guests added a run in the top of the fourth. Ryan Granata ripped a double off of Casaletto, scoring Christianson from second. With one out and the bases loaded, Tringale came on in relief for the first time, and catcher Jackson Stanton helped him out right away, picking off Masta, who took a little too big of a lead off third base, and Joey Dusabalo slapped the tag on him. Tringlale whiffed Sam Verro to extinguish his first fire.
The Sachems scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, Stanton singled and stole second and went to third on another base hit by Jack Devereaux. Devereaux swiped second on the next pitch, and then a Tringale infield grounder was booted into right field, and two runs crossed the plate.
Casaletto went back out to duel with Masta in the top of the fifth, and the game remained tied until the Sachems got the winner in their half of the eighth.
“In a single elimination tournament, you’ve got to do everything you can to win, Jason was pitching great, and I was able to put Todd in to put out two fires,” Luis said. “We’ll talk to the team about this game, and try to figure a way to jump start the offense for Fenwick.”
Jack Devereaux and Anthoney Cogliano both had three base hits for the winners.
Saugus travels to No. 4 Fenwick Monday (4) for the sectional quarterfinal.