By Jeremy Balan
Behind a complete game from senior pitcher Nate Gilchrist and three doubles from senior shortstop Dominic Schwartz, Lowell High School came back from an early deficit to defeat Galileo High School 6-3 at Moscone Recreation Center on Wednesday.
Gilchrist allowed three runs (one earned) through three innings and the Cardinals (21-6, 11-0) trailed 3-1, but the right-hander retired 12 of the final 14 Galileo (13-12, 8-3) batters. Gilchrist struck out six and walked none to collect the win.
“He threw a lot of strikes and was right around the plate,” said Lowell Head Coach John Donohue. “He got a lot of their better hitters out and didn’t throw a lot of pitches. I think he had 60 pitches heading into the sixth inning. He did a great job for us.”
Schartz’s RBI double in the first inning opened up the scoring for the Cardinals and another double in the fifth fueled a rally that broke a 3-3 tie.
With the win, Lowell remains undefeated in AAA play and will enter the playoffs as a heavy favorite.
“This is a good team,” said Donohue. “The best days are still ahead of us. We called a good game, got some timely hits and that’s what was important today.”
Lowell senior first baseman Nick Allen also contributed in the crucial fifth inning, with a leadoff home run that was lined over right fielder John Chen’s head, after he initially broke in on the ball.
The misplay was the first of three consecutive blunders in the Galileo outfield that resulted in the eventual winning runs.
“The one hard hit I could see, that should have been a triple, but a good outfielder catches it. It was a tough play, because it was a line drive that sailed, but it should have been a triple; he just missed the cutoff man,” said Galileo Head Coach Don Papa. “Then we dropped two fly balls. It gets frustrating.”
Galileo junior starting pitcher Dustin Andrick allowed six runs (four earned) and struck out five over six innings, throwing 130 pitches.
“[Andrick] did well, but you can’t give them five or six outs an inning, and that cost us,” Papa said.
Junior shortstop Erik Wilson had all three RBIs for the Lions, on a groundout in the first and a two-RBI single in the third. Wilson’s RBI opportunity came after Donohue had Gilchrist intentionally walk Galileo’s standout catcher Dylan Nelson.
“We want [Nelson] to come up with guys on base, but everyone’s walking him now,” Papa said. “He’s going to get walked the rest of the year until we start hitting and Erik did today.”
Nelson will pitch today in the second game of the series.