By Dante Quazzo
Mastering the fundamentals is a difficult challenge for any high school baseball team, but on Thursday afternoon at Big Rec, Lowell High School put on a defensive clinic in a 4-0 Academic Athletic Association win against Lincoln.
The Cardinals (10-7-1, 6-1) opened a lead quickly, tallying a run in the first inning on an Edward King triple, then added three more in the second, highlighted by a two-RBI triple by Jake Simons.
“I was happy that we were able to get some contact,” said Lowell head coach John Donahue. “Our kids are good enough to be able to do things the right way.”
After the initial runs, Lowell’s pitching and defense carried it the rest of the way. The Cardinals defense played stellar throughout, including two well-executed double plays to stall Lincoln rallies.
“I’m very proud of our defense,” Donahue added. “The pitching and defense has been fantastic. Even though the field’s not in the best condition, our players still made a lot of great plays today.”
Lowell starting pitcher Jacob Gleason tossed six shutout innings for the Cardinals, recording four strikeouts before teammate Oscar Gates-Kent struck out the side in the seventh to end the game.
“I made a couple pitches when it counted, and got out of some jams,” Gleason said. “I just tried to hit my spots.”
Despite their offensive struggles, the Mustangs (8-8, 7-4) received a strong performance from starting pitcher Carlos Loeza, who went the distance, allowing four runs in a the six-inning loss.
Though he struggled a bit in the early innings, he retired 12 of his final 16 batters to ice the Lowell offense.
“Carlos is a bulldog. He grabs the ball each week and he does a great job,” said Lincoln head coach Eric Calloway. “He goes right after hitters. It’s when he gets his pitches down. It takes a few [innings] for him to get that curveball down, but when he does, it’s a beauty.”
The Cardinals have hit their stride as they continue through AAA play, outscoring their opponents 65-10 in April, and look to continue that trend against Mission next Monday. The Mustangs look to rebound against Burton on Monday as well.
Lowell – Edward King triples, Nick Tam scores
Lowell – Jake Simons triples, Josh Vaughan and Oscar Gates-Kent score
Lowell – Tam singles, Simons scores