It was sloppy and sometimes lacking in the smarts department, but the Washington High School baseball team could shoulder a few baserunning blunders and mental mistakes on defense.
For the first time since Washington upset Lowell in the 2001 Academic Athletic Association championship game at what was then Pacific Bell Park, the Eagles beat the Cardinals 12-7 at Nealon Diamond at Big Rec on Friday afternoon.
"They knew this year that our team was better and that if we played well we could beat them," winning pitcher Lorenzo Ubungen said after the Ealges improved to
10-6 overall and 5-0 in the AAA.
Ubungen, a senior right-hander, pitched all seven innings, yielding seven runs (five earned) on seven hits and striking out five to improve to 4-1. It was his first win in league play.
Ubungen’s ability to perform in one of Washington’s only big games on the league schedule might be a product of the fact that he hasn’t endured losses to Lowell over the last four years.
The senior, who has a vast repertoire of off-speed pitches, transferred to Washington this year after attending Sacred Heart Cathedral for two years. With the Irish, Ubungen played the outfield and pitched sparingly, but his opportunity to take the ball for the Eagles has provided a sense of urgency.
"It’s my chance to shine," he said.
Barring a four-run fourth when Lowell center fielder Jack Lazarus followed up a bases-loaded walk with a two-run double into the right-center gap, Ubungen was steady. Another Lowell run in the fourth trimmed the Washington lead to 7-5, but the Eagles had an answer for every Lowell rally. The Eagles scored two runs in the fifth and, after Lowell scored two more in the sixth, tacked on three in the seventh.
Washington coach Rob Fung admitted that he was surprised Ubungen walked three and hit one batter.
"It’s unlike him to walk many guys," Fung said of his Ubungen, who did have four scoreless innings.
The Cardinals (10-7-1, 5-1), who played Balboa in a nightcap at Crocker-Amazon, didn’t play like their usual steady selves. Starter Evan Brydon hit two batters and Lowell committed three errors as the Eagles put up four runs in the first inning. Senior Jake Blanc took over for Lowell in the second, but all told, the Cardinals’ pitchers hit five batters and walked another five. The defense was no better, finishing with eight errors.
Washington didn’t knock the ball around at an incredible rate, collecting eight hits. But the Eagles took advantage of Lowell’s blunders. O’Koyea Dickson and Brett Difeliciantonio each had two hits for Washington, which faces Burton today and defending AAA champion Lincoln on Monday.
Lorenzo Ubungen and Kenny Hwee; Evan Brydon, Jake Blanc (2), Elan Lavie (6) and Louis Buchbinder. W—Ubungen (4-1). L—Brydon.
Leading hitters: O’Koyea Dickson (W) 2x3, Brett Difeliciantonio (W) 2x3, Jack Lazaraus (L) 1x2, Elan Lavie (L) 1x2.