Baseball: Lowell can’t hold down South San Francisco bats in rout

Lowell junior center fielder Nick Tam lines a single to right field against South San Francisco on Saturday at Orange Park in South San Francisco. (Photo by Devin Chen)

By Jeremy Balan

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO — Riding high on a seven-game win streak, Lowell High School ran into a hot-hitting South San Francisco High School team, and could hold down the Warriors’ bats in a 10-1 non-league loss on Saturday at Orange Park.

The Warriors (9-9) collected 10 hits against four Lowell pitchers, including a 2-for-3, five-RBI performance from junior designated hitter Gregorio Jimenez, to continue a streak of four games where they’ve scored 10 runs or more.

South San Francisco junior starting pitcher Ryan Mohr sends a pitch toward the plate against Lowell on Saturday at Orange Park in South San Francisco. (Photo by Devin Chen)

“Early in the season, we were getting runners on and not capitalizing, but today we did,” said South City head coach Daryl Semien. “That’s really important going into the next six league games. That was key for us today, getting guys on early and crushing the ball when we needed to.”

After scoring two runs in the first inning on a two-RBI single by junior pitcher Ryan Mohr, Jimenez broke the game open with a bases-loaded triple in the fourth that extended the South City lead to 6-0. Then, he put the game well out of reach in fifth, with another two RBIs on a lined single to center field.

Jimenez did the most damage in the ninth spot in the South City order, but Semien was not surprised by the performance

“We kind of mix and match,” Semien said. “My ninth hitter is just as good as my third or fourth hitter. We move guys around in different situations and different spots. He’s been working hard on his swing lately, so I’m glad to see he got some [RBIs].”

The Cardinals (10-8-1) got their only run on an RBI single from sophomore left fielder Andy Glickfeld in the fifth and got runners on base in every inning except the first, but stranded nine in the game.

“We deserve a little of this, when you win [seven] in a row and you think you can just show up and get a win,” said Lowell head coach John Donohue. “We left a lot of runners on base and we don’t usually do that. Hopefully we learn from it and we might move some people around in the lineup.”

Although he allowed 11 baserunners, Mohr worked his way out of trouble in every inning except the fifth, striking out eight in the complete-game win, his first of the season.

“I’m really glad for him, because we’ve been joking around with him, saying we needed to get him a win this year,” Semien said. “He knew how much this game mean to me, so he gave us a little extra.”

Lowell sophomore starting pitcher Aaron Leong sends a pitch toward the plate against South San Francisco on Saturday at Orange Park in South San Francisco. Leong gave up six runs in 3 1/3 innings of work. (Photo by Devin Chen)

The win was a significant one for Semien, in his first year at the helm of the program. He graduated from Lowell in 1987, played for Donohue, and was an assistant coach for the Cardinals before he got the job at South City.

“Coach Donohue is my mentor, and has taught me everything I know about high school baseball,” Semien said. “I’m trying to mold my program after his, and he’s won over 600 games, so I think that’s a pretty good model. He set the path for me, so it was nice show him that we’re going in the right direction.”

The Cardinals look to get back on track next week, with four games in four days next week, including three inter-division league games that we’re rained out earlier in the season.

“Today wasn’t our day, and that’s fine,” Donohue said. “It’s a long season, and we’ve got to bounce back in league next week.”

Scoring Summary

First Inning
SSF – Ryan Mohr singles, Greg Bildhauer and Miguel Diaz score

Fourth Inning
SSF – Joey Marccuci singles, Omar Bakir scores
SSF – Gregorio Jimenez triples, Joey Moro, Marccuci and Maligi Maluia score
SSF – Mohr singles, Jimenez scores. Bildhauer scores on throwing error.

Fifth Inning
L – Andy Glickfeld singles, Charles Nguyen scores
SSF – Jimenez singles, David Karditzas and Moro score

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