Lion tamers: Varsity baseball claws their way to league champs

Originally published on May 10, 2016

Junior infielder and pitcher Brennan Greedy leans forward to throw the ball in the game against the O’Connell Boilermakers on April 26. Photo by Leonard Caoili

Varsity baseball continues on their way to their fourth consecutive year in the championships after the Cardinals came up with a 12–1 clutch over the Galileo Lions on April 28.

In the first inning, after a walk, a single and an unsuccessful steal that allowed senior infielder and pitcher Matthew Schivo to advance to second, sophomore catcher Owen Mahoney stepped up to the plate. Due to some botched fielding by the Lions, Schivo rounded home and Mahoney found himself safe at third. The Cardinals ended the top of the inning with a run under their belt and one man stranded. During the bottom of the inning, junior outfielder and pitcher Joe Solomon allowed one run in, tying the game 1–1.

Senior infielder and pitcher Matthew Sam prepares to run to the next base in the game against the O’Connell Boilermakers on April 26. Photo by Leonard Caoili

By the top of the second, the Cardinals’ offense took off. After junior infielder and pitcher Adam Gardi was walked, junior first baseman Kyle Ruan sacrifice bunted, allowing Gardi to advance to second. Leffert Lefferts III’s single had Ruan taking third. Senior outfielder Anderson Giang successfully took first after seeing Ruan being tagged out at home. Senior infielder and pitcher Matthew Sam began the rally by hitting a ground ball to left field which brought Leffterts home for the first run of the inning. The Cardinals kept the energy going with Schivo’s hit to far left that led to Sam scoring. Solomon slammed a liner to center field, allowing Schivo and Giang to score. Galileo swapped out their pitcher, which ended the scoring for the inning, but Lowell finished the top of the second strong, with a 5–1 lead.

After a quick three outs during the bottom of the second, Lowell’s offensive streak continued. Schivo came up to bat with the bases loaded and two outs. He slammed the ball towards right field, brought all three runners home, and successfully secured second. Junior pinch runner EJ Whorton swapped in at second, and the next at bat, Mahoney brought Whorton home for the fifth run of the inning due to an error by the Lion’s center fielder. The Cardinals finished the inning 9–1.

Sophomore catcher Owen Mahoney prepares to swing the bat in the game against the O’Connell Boilermakers on April 26. Photo by Leonard Caoili

Solomon continued his command over Lion’s offense, allowing no runs to score during the bottom of the third. The top of the fourth saw a similar offensive shut down, and despite a beautifully hit triple to deep left field by Ruan, the Cardinals did not score in the fourth.

Bottom of the fourth saw a perfectly executed double play by the Cardinals, and, once again, the game proceeding to the top of the next inning with no runs scored by the Lions. Top of the fifth saw the Cardinals increasing their lead once more, with Solomon crushing a strong hit to center field, sliding safely into third and allowing Schivo to score. Whorton once more took Solomon’s place as a runner, and after a play made at first, senior outfielder Neil Chin managed an RBI double which brought Whorton home. During the next at bat, Gardi hit a triple which allowed Chin to score. The Cardinals ended the top of the inning 12–1.

The bottom of the fifth saw Solomon striking out the first two batters with ease, and the third batter hit a flyout to left field, ending the game.

The Cardinals have brought home the gold for three consecutive years and are on a path to the fourth after overcoming a rough season record of 6–6. “[Coming into the game] there was never any trepidation or nerves,” assistant coach Emil DeAndreis said. “After that first inning, we just got aggressive. The momentum was in our favor during this game and it was just a question of who wanted the game more.”

The Cardinals will play against the Balboa Buccaneers in the championship game tomorrow at 4 p.m. at AT&T park.