SAUGUS VS. CANYON : Gustaveson’s 3-Hitter Puts Saugus in a Tie for First

From a Times Staff Writer

Kent Gustaveson is quietly going about his business of baffling high school hitters.

Without much fanfare, or help from his teammates, the senior pitcher from Saugus High has put together a 1.80 earned-run average. Despite his impressive performance, however, he went into Friday’s Golden League showdown with Santa Clarita Valley rival Canyon with only a 2-2 record.

Gustaveson’s teammates managed only five hits against Canyon, but were able to score seven runs to back his three-hit pitching and give the Centurions a 7-3 victory at Canyon.

Gustaveson went the distance and struck out eight to run his record to 3-2 and improve Saugus to 8-5 overall and 4-1 in league. Canyon fell to 5-8 and 1-4.


The win also put Saugus into a tie for first with Quartz Hill, which beat Palmdale on Friday, 14-0. Palmdale is in third at 3-2.

The game finished the first round of Golden League play. Saugus, which finished third last season, is shaping up as a favorite in the ’86 race. Of the 10 games remaining, the Centurions will play four of their next five and a total of seven at home.

Saugus was paced by sophomore second baseman Tom Dodson, who went 3 for 3 and collected four RBIs.

Dio Shipp was the only Canyon player to have little problem with Gustaveson. He hit a pair of homers, his second and third of the year. His two-run blast in the third gave the Cowboys a short-lived 2-0 lead. Shipp added a solo shot in the sixth.


Shipp’s success against Gustaveson is no surprise, however. He’s been doing it against everyone this season. The senior, who also starred on Canyon’s Northwestern Conference championship football team, is the Valley-area’s No. 6 hitter. He is 20 for 36 for a .555 average.

Saugus rebounded from the early 2-0 deficit to score four times in the fourth. Dodson provided the key hit in the inning, when he connected for a two-run single with two outs.

Armed with a 4-2 lead, Gustaveson took control of the game and allowed the Cowboys only one hit the rest of the way--Shipp’s solo home run in the sixth.