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Saugus Battles Crespi to a Tie but Advances on Basis of Total Bases

<i> Times Staff Writer </i>

Total bases.

Saugus High totaled 23 to Crespi’s 18 in Wednesday’s third-round game of the El Segundo tournament.

Why the concern over total bases? Because based on the five-base edge, Saugus will advance to the fifth-place bracket of the tournament, while Crespi drops into the running for ninth.

The game at Saugus was halted because of darkness with the score tied, 1-1, after nine innings. Coaches Scott Muckey of Crespi (1-1-1) and Doug Worley of Saugus (1-1-1) agreed that the outcome would be recorded as a tie but that the Centurions would advance by virtue of most total bases.

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Neither coach agreed, however, on when the game should have been halted. Muckey argued with the home plate umpire that Saugus should not have been allowed a final at-bat in the ninth inning. “He said, ‘This is it after this half-inning,’ ” Muckey said. “I said, ‘If you’re going to call it, call it now.’ ”

With dusk settling in, Muckey took it upon himself to offset any edge that Crespi may have had. The umpire handed Crespi catcher Kevin Walsh a bone-white baseball in the ninth inning, but before the ball reached pitcher Pat Bennett, Muckey gave it a shampoo with dirt from the first-base line.

“They were throwing in nice, new, white balls,” Muckey said. “I’m not going to let them do that.”

While the sun shone, so did Saugus senior right-hander Roger Salkeld who, two days past his 18th birthday, truly is the man on the mound.

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Salkeld (1-0) struck out a school-record 19 and walked two while pitching a three-hitter for his second complete game. Salkeld struck out the side three times--needing only 10 pitches in the first inning. He had eight strikeouts after only 37 pitches.

“I’m pleased,” Muckey said. “Anytime you get a chance to stay in there with Roger Salkeld . . .”

Salkeld was a strike away from posting a shutout with 14 strikeouts. But third baseman Trevor Rice’s unsuccessful attempt at a diving catch of Don Calabria’s low pop fly on the infield grass in the seventh allowed Chris Romero to score from second.

“That was my fault,” Salkeld said. “ I should have had that one.”

Crespi starter Chad Nichols went 5 1/3 innings before he was replaced by Bennett with the bases loaded in the sixth and the game scoreless.

Bennett threw a wild pitch, allowing pinch-runner Andy Nolan to score from third, before pitching out of the jam.


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