With Saugus’ baseball team missing experienced players due to illness, Marblehead took advantage en route to a 15-5 victory in five innings.

It was a fast start for the Magicians, who tacked on seven first-inning runs to take a 7-1 lead. Stefan Shepard, Charlie Sachs, and Ian Maude all recorded two-RBI hits in the first.

Shepard, in Marblehead’s leadoff spot, batted twice in the inning, reaching second both times.

“We want to put up a crooked number and that’s exactly what we did,” Marblehead coach Mike Giardi said. “We put up a big number early on, and that can take the life out of a team. You want to get out to an early lead and make a statement.”

The Magicians continued to show their offensive power, adding another four runs in the second. An RBI single from Brooks Keefe made it 9-1, and Shepard brought in his third RBI of the evening (hit by pitch) to make it 11-1.

“The guys did a really good job, at the plate, of staying focused, getting their mechanics down, and getting some swings out there,” Giardi said.

“Walks killed us to an extent,” Saugus coach Joe Luis said. “The last few days – with the weather – we couldn’t get outside, which could explain part of it.”

The Sachems “got hit with the flu,” according to Luis, which meant he was short across key positions.

“Our shortstop and second baseman weren’t here today, so we had to play people who have never played certain positions,” Luis said.

Despite being down by 10 runs early, and eventually 13 going into the fifth, the Sachems never quit, scoring four runs in the fifth – capped off by an RBI single from Jordan Rodriguez.

Giardi acknowledged the short-handed Sachems, and praised their effort.

“Those guys compete and they battle. They’re short a few guys and we took advantage of it,” Giardi said. “They’re going to be a really good team and they made a few great defensive plays.”

When asked to take away some positives, Luis spoke highly of Tyler Riley on the hill.

“Tyler Riley played well. We just started working with him throwing and he did well,” Luis said. “Now that I saw he can throw and force ground balls, it can help us defensively when we get our whole squad back.”