Viking nine tops Saugus, drops pair

The Winthrop High baseball team nipped Saugus last Thursday, but then dropped its next two contests to Peabody and Revere. Coach Jim Gillis’s Vikings now stand at 5-4 on the season.

Rob Swanson picked up the win over Saugus with a fine, route going effort in which he allowed just six hits, fanned six Sachems, and issued only three walks.

“Swannie threw a strong game for us,” said Gillis. “He mixed his pitches well and had good control.”

Winthrop scored two runs in the fourth on a two RBI base hit by Christian Howard that brought in teammates Brendan Ronan and Swanson. That rally gave Winthrop a brief 2-1 lead, but Saugus came back to tie with a solo marker in the fifth.

However, Harry Benson, who had two hits on the day, came through with a big base hit that brought in Swanson with what would prove to be his own game winning run.

The next two contests saw the Vikings find themselves in big holes early on. Sophomore Joe D’Amore, who has had some arm soreness, got his first start of the season against Peabody and had a rough time, as the Tanners scored four in the first inning and posted five more in the second frame.

Nick McCarthy went 3 for 3 for Winthrop and Ronan had two more hits, but the Vikings were unable to get back into the game in an eventual 16-5 finale. Justin Rowe came on for the final four innings in relief of D’Amore.

Winthrop similarly saw Revere build an early 6-0 advantage after two innings against Viking hurler Anthony Hatzisavas, who was coming off a shutout victory in his previous outing. Anthony came out in the fifth frame, having allowed seven runs. Swanson took over in the fifth and allowed just one run in the final three innings of work.

The Winthrop bats came to life and battled back to make it 7-4 in the fourth and had the bases loaded. However, the Vikings were unable to deliver the key base hit that could have erased the big Revere lead.

Tyler Pettee, Swanson, Anthony Spinazzola, and Howard all had two hits on the day, while McCarthy and Will Milano each banged a double to lead the Winthrop offensive attack.

Gillis and his Vikings now face a tough stretch against the top teams of the Northeastern Conference Large Division. They were set to play Beverly yesterday (Wednesday) and travel to Fraser Field to meet Lynn Classical under the lights Friday evening. They hit the road again on Monday to Salem and then host strong Lynn English next Wednesday.

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