JV baseball claims eighth straight AAA champion title

Road to success: Cardinals beat Balboa Buccaneers by mercy rule

The JV boys baseball team annihilated the Balboa Buccaneers at Balboa Park in a 18-7 mercy rule victory on April 13.

Zephyr Anderson
As Balboa’s baseman stretches with all his might to catch the ball, the Card strives to arrive at the base, making a close call of the game against the Buccaneers on April 13.

The game started off well for the Cardinals. By the top of the first inning, they found themselves up seven runs. Balboa responded with a hit into left field, leading to a run being scored for the Buccaneers. The inning ended with a double play, with sophomore infielder Anthony Serrano catching a pop fly and promptly throwing out the player running back to first. The first inning ended with the Cardinals leading 7-1.

Lowell kept up their scoring streak in the second inning, with two players getting on base early and freshman first baseman Ewan Hadley hitting a line drive. This sent a runner home for the Cardinals, putting another run on the board, but also ending the inning with 2 strikeouts shortly after. The Buccaneers came up to bat but were shut out by a strong Cardinals’ defense, ending the second inning at 8-1.

In the third inning the Cardinals proved themselves once more, as they were able to load the bases in the first three at bats. Balboa’s pitcher proceeded to walk two Cardinal players, putting Lowell up two more runs. Lowell then drove in another two cardinal players, putting them up 11-1 with no outs. After one player was thrown out on second, Lowell drilled in four more runs before freshman infielder and pitcher Landon Lee was struck out, ending the top of the inning. Balboa also was able to load the bases in the bottom of the inning, and brought in one run before a player was thrown out at first to end the inning 15-2, Lowell.

The fourth inning breezed by for both teams, with Lowell scoring two quick runs before the top of the inning ended in a strikeout. Balboa was also quickly shut out in three back-to-back outs, ending the inning at 17-2.

Zephyr Anderson
Sophomore pitcher Luke Closson pitches a cut fastball at the mound.

The Cardinals were confident heading into their next inning, thanks to a great performance so far in the game and the assurance of the league’s mercy rule. Freshman outfielder Peter Goeke explained that if a team were to be up 10 runs at the bottom of the 5th inning, then the game would end abruptly.

With the rule in mind, Lowell seemed to lose the edge that they had in the earlier innings and relied heavily on their current lead in the game. Balboa used this to their advantage, ending the top of the inning quickly, but still allowing Lowell to score one run. Balboa continued this swap of momentum in the bottom of the inning, getting on base and batting in two runners to make the score 18-4. This late push by Balboa continued with three more runs, including one off of a Lowell error. The cardinals were barely able to deny the Buccaneers with a strikeout, ending the game at 18-7.

Despite the poor end of the game, Goeke and his team still left feeling good about the win. “We have a good team this year, some very solid players,” Goeke said. “Hopefully we can pull out the win at the end of the year.”

Road to success: Cardinals soar past the Washington Eagles 4-2

The Cards triumphed over the Washington Eagles 4-2 on Monday, April 15 at Rossi Park.

The top of the first inning was a coup for the Cardinals, as they found freshman infielder and pitcher Landon Lee on third base and sophomore infielder Anthony Serrano on second. Freshman first baseman and pitcher Ewan Hadley hit a ground ball, batting in Lee and putting Lowell in the lead 15 minutes into the game. Then, sophomore outfielder Kenny Gon stepped up to bat and brought Serrano home, increasing the score divide between the teams even further. Shortly thereafter, however, Lowell received its third out and the top of the inning came to a close. The bottom of the first inning concluded quickly, as a stellar effort by the Cardinals saw all three of Washington’s initial runners outed at first base. The inning ended 2-0, Lowell.

Christina Johnson
Sophomore infielder and pitcher Philippe Astier swings a hit against the Washington Eagles last year.

Lowell spent the next several innings playing the long game, still trying to secure runs where possible but ruthlessly suppressing the Eagles’ attempts to score. Sophomore Alex Lane pitched for the Cardinals for the first six innings of the game, and in conjunction with Lowell’s phenomenal catchers and first basemen, halted Washington’s offense in its tracks until the sixth inning, preventing them from scoring a single run. At the same time, however, the Cards were unable to make any gains of their own until the fifth inning, leaving the score in limbo at 2-0.

In the fifth inning, freshman infielder Tai Vu and sophomore outfielder Andrew Vu hit and stole their way to second and third base, respectively. Hadley was then able to come up to bat and bring both of them home, earning two RBIs for himself and doubling Lowell’s score.

Christina Johnson
Sophomore outfielder Kenneth Gon fires to the next base.

The run made by the Eagles in the sixth inning was a close thing, as their runner was only able to make it to second base while the runner that followed him was taken out at first base. Indeed, it probably wouldn’t have happened at all if Washington’s fourth runner hadn’t hit deep into the outfield, securing second base for himself and an RBI as the runner on second made it all the way home. They might even have secured another run if Lowell’s outfielders hadn’t been prepared for the next runner, whose equally powerful hit was caught, ending the inning.

The Eagles were unusually competent in the top of the final inning, catching a base hit by Serrano and making a double play shortly after, ending Lowell’s last chance to score as fast as they had been silenced in the early game. Washington’s comeback attempts were thwarted, as their first runner had his hit caught by the Cards’ defense and their third runner was struck out by the pitcher called up to replace Lane, sophomore Tommy Kirvin, who also plays infield and outfield. However, the Eagles’ second runner slipped through and was able to make one final run before the inning concluded, ending the game 4-2, Lowell.

Facing off the Eagles again in championship

Christina Johnson
JV baseball cheer each other on during last year’s AAA Baseball Frosh/Soph championship against the Washington Eagles, whom the Cards defeat 2-1.

After ruling out the Mission Bears 26-1 in playoffs on April 23, the Cards closed out their season with a 3-1 win against the Washington Eagles in the annual AAA Baseball Frosh/Soph championship on April 26 at Big Rec Field.