It took 11 innings and nearly four hours of hard-fought baseball, but Lowell was able to eke out a 6-5 come-from-behind victory over Academic Athletic Association rival Lincoln, with the sun still barely hanging in the sky Thursday at West Sunset.
After going hitless in his first five at-bats, sophomore Max Newman pushed a line-drive single into right field to drive home leadoff man Jack Lazarus and break a 5-5 deadlock in the top of the 11th inning. Trailing 5-0 as late as the fourth inning, the 6-5 lead was the first for the Cardinals in the game — and the only one they needed.
Lowell (14-7-1, 9-1) fended off a scare from Lincoln (11-5, 9-3) in the bottom of the inning to secure the victory and keep control in the AAA’s A-Division race going into the last week of the season.
"It’s nothing to relax on, but it’s a credit to the program and the kids to be in the situation," Lowell coach John Donahue said. "We hung in there through a long game today and came back after being down big. It was a pretty special game."
After delivering two game-tying RBIs in the Cardinals’ first meeting with the Mustangs Wednesday, Elan Lavie came through in the clutch once again for Lowell on Thursday. Lavie slammed an RBI double to the right field wall in the top of the seventh inning to bring the Cardinals within 5-4, and then scored on a single from Joe Cutler to knot the game 5-5.
Not yet done with heroics, Lavie took the mound in relief of starter Jake Blanc in the top of the eighth. The junior left-hander allowed just one hit over four scoreless innings, shutting the door on the Mustangs despite getting himself into a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the bottom of the 11th.
Blanc got roughed up to the tune of runs in the second inning, but rebounded to keep Lowell from falling out of contention. After giving up eight hits in the first two innings, Blanc gave up only two hits in the next five.
ISA 13, BURTON 9
Freshman Carlos Roldan drove in five runs with a pair of doubles as the Cobras (4-10, 2-8) used an eight-run second inning to topple the Pumas.
Lowell 6, Lincoln 5 (11 innings)
Lowell 000 102 200 01 — 6 11 1
Lincoln 050 000 000 00 — 5 11 2
Jake Blanc, ElanLavie (8) and Louis Buchbinder; Eric Hertz, Joe Neilly (6), Ben Safer (8), Sean Rogers (11) and John Safer. W—Lavie. L—Rogers.
Leading hitters: Evan Brydon (Lo) 3x4, Joe Cutler (Lo) 2x3, Thomas Nakamura (Lo) 2x6, Lavie (Lo) 2x6, Greg Foote (Li) 3x4, Jason Timko (Li) 2x5, Rogers (Li) 2x6.
ISA 13, Burton 9
Burton 303 000 3 — 9 7 4
ISA 180 004 x — 13 7 9
W—Adrian Rodriguez. L—Alex Fung.
Leading hitters: Carlos Roldan (ISA) 2x3.