Lowell makes early lead hold up

The Lowell baseball team didn’t waste any time lighting up the scoreboard against Academic Athletic Association rival Lincoln on Wednesday afternoon at Big Rec, striking early and holding on for an 8-5 victory.

Six of the first seven Cardinals (13-7-1, 8-1) reached base, translating into a four-run first inning. While the Mustangs (11-4, 9-2) were able to erase the early deficit, Lowell took the lead for good on Javier Padilla’s fifth-inning single, which scored junior Elan Lavie.

Senior Jack Lazarus, sophomore Max Newman and Lavie led off the game for Lowell with consecutive singles off Lincoln starter Jason Timko. Senior Joe Cutler took a base on balls before Thomas Nakamura came up with a two-run single to give the Cardinals an early lead.

“[Timko] can do some really good stuff out there, so it was pretty big for us to go out and get to him early today,” Lowell coach John Donohue said. “I was really happy with the way we got out of the gate. We had a great practice out here the other day — everyone was hitting well. It’s nice to see that carrying over into the game.”

The early runs proved crucial for the Cardinals, who had a tough time with the Mustangs the rest of the way. After allowing five hits in the first inning, Timko held Lowell to one hit in the next three innings combined.

Cardinals starter Gaston Guibert, meanwhile, began to tire early in the game, allowing the Mustangs to tie the game 4-4 in the fourth inning. Guibert struggled with his control, at one point walking three of four hitters and allowing one to score on a wild pitch.

Sophomore left-hander Evan Brydon relieved Guibert, throwing three innings of stellar relief to pick up the win. Brydon struck out the side in the sixth inning, though a dropped third strike against speedy Lincoln outfielder Brandon Lee gave the Mustangs the chance to make a fourth out.

“Evan’s been great for us recently,” Donohue said. “He picked up a huge 2-1 win in our tournament in Vegas a while ago, and looked just as good today.”

Lavie led the Cardinals’ hitters, going 3-for-4 with two runs and three RBIs.

After Lowell allowed Lincoln to take the lead in the top of the fifth, Lavie singled home Newman in the bottom of the inning to again tie the game at 5-5. It was his second game-tying RBI of the day.

Padilla’s go-ahead single made it 6-5. After Carter Rockwell scored an icing run in the sixth inning, Lavie tripled in Jack Lazarus to put the game away for Lowell, giving the Cardinals a commanding 8-5 lead.

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