Saugus swims laps
around foes in pool
Massachusetts champs claim first place in Pool A
In this "Jock Jams" of a World Series,
one-run games are becoming the norm for the Saugus American Little
For the 3rd straight game Saugus found
itself in a one-run contest, and for the 3rd straight game the kids
with the Boston accents came out on top, this time defeating Boynton
Beach 4-3 Monday evening at Volunteer Stadium.
The New England region champs finish first
in Pool A with a 3-0 record while the Florida state champs finished
2nd with a 2-1 mark. Saugus plays in Thursday’s U.S. semi-final, and
Boynton Beach takes the field in Wednesday’s.
“We just keep our heads together,” said
Saugus head coach Rob Rochenski. “We’re just dying for the last out.”
last out, or 2 outs rather, were recorded via a double play, the 2nd
time in 3 games Saugus has closed it out with one.
Saugus hurler Joseph Kasabuski took a 4-2
lead into the home half of the 6th, and surrendered a line-drive home
run to leadoff man Michael Broad. The ball carried over a Little
League sign in right-center, and continued to bounce around a few rows
of cars like a pin ball. All at 300 feet or so away from home plate.
“I was kind of laughing when he hit, he
hit it so hard,” Kasabuski said.
Saugus batters continued to hit the ball
hard, but this time the holes were found. All they had to show for
their previous 2 wins was a combined 4 runs and 10 hits. The
Massachusetts state champs tonight scored 3 runs on 4 hits in the
first inning alone.
“It was nice to see the kids come out and
start hitting the ball,” Rochenski said.
Cole, who batted leadoff in Saugus’s first 2 pool games, slid down to
the 6th hole to relieve any potential pressure. He responded by going
2-for-2 with a walk, a run scored, and an RBI.
The 2nd baseman upped his average to .308
(8-for-26) from .250 since the start of regional play August 3 vs.
a little nervous (batting leadoff),” he said. “They moved me down, so
I was more comfortable.”
Kasabuski earned the complete-game
victory, giving up 3 runs on 7 hits while striking out 4.
Rochenski noted the
assistant coaches wanted to pull the hurler when he worked himself
into trouble in the 6th. The skipper didn’t budge, letting the kid
finish what he started.
“I just tried my hardest to get out of
that jam and win the game,” Kasabuski said. “I was a little nervous,
but I just came out and tried my hardest.”
Rochenski: “He’s your typical Little Leaguer. He comes to play. He
doesn’t get too high or low. He just takes it in stride.”
Boynton Beach had threatened early on, too
– pulling within a run at 3-2 in the 3rd when Devon Travis, who hit a
one-out double down the left field line, scored on a wild pitch after
moving to 3rd on a passed ball. Saugus bounced right back with a run
in top of the 4th. Tyler Calla’s RBI single brought home Cole, who led
off the frame with a walk.
It was a good game, a very good game,”
said Florida coach Tony Travis. “We were just outplayed today. (Our
guys) came in a little sluggish, but we just couldn’t bang our way out
of the box.”