Over the past six years, teams have lined up to try to knock Lowell off in the Academic Athletic Association baseball championship, and each time, the Cardinals have prevailed. They’ll be aiming to earn their seventh championship in a row at Oracle Park on Wednesday afternoon, going up against a familiar foe. Washington has been Lowell’s victim over four of the past six years, and the Eagles have earned themselves another chance to knock off the kings.
Just as was the case in a 1-0 semifinal win over Mission, runs will likely be at a premium for Washington (13-15), with Jack Schonherr and Levi Humphrey toeing the rubber for Lowell (21-6). If the Cardinals are going to stay on top, they’ll need to get more of the pitching that’s been there throughout their six-year reign. Their last two championship wins have been shutouts, and over the entire run, they’ve allowed a total of just eight runs in championship games.
If there’s a common theme linking the Cardinals and Eagles as they enter Wednesday’s title bout, it’s youth. When Schonherr takes the mound, he’ll be part of an all-sophomore battery along with catcher Shane Stanley. Infielder Philippe Astier, another member of the class of 2021, typically bats ninth in manager Daryl Semien’s lineup, and Lowell has also gotten production from Luke Closson and Mark Zhu.
Sophomores also play a key role for Washington, with Niko Lanier sporting a .422 on-base percentage and going 9-for-9 on stolen base attempts. Gilbert Diccion has been stellar at first base on the season, with just two errors and a .988 fielding percentage, playing a key role on a unit that has been smooth in the field, highlighted by flashy freshman shortstop Kayne Moody. As a team, Washington has just a .238 batting average, but with stellar pitching from the likes of James Monterrosa — who threw a complete game against Mission — as well as a .388 team OBP, the Eagles are on the brink of glory once again.
Donovan to play D-III basketball in Oregon: Over the weekend, Lincoln girls basketball star Lily Donovan officially signed to continue her career at Pacific University, a Division III school in the Portland suburb of Forest Grove, Oregon. The Boxers, who compete in the Northwest Conference, are coming off an 8-17 season.
Serra wins first volleyball title: For all the athletic success that the Serra Padres have had over the years, volleyball was typically something of an afterthought at the school until this season. After finishing second in the WCAL and reaching the championship game of the WCAL Tournament, the program has won its first CCS title, sweeping Valley Christian (25-17, 25-20, 25-10) to win the Division II Championship. The Padres advanced to the Northern California Division II Tournament, receiving the second seed and hosting No. 7 Marin Catholic in the first round.
Carroll and Belandres advance: The St. Ignatius tennis duo of Jack Carroll and Josh Belandres advanced to the semifinals of the CCS Boys Tennis Doubles Tournament, needing to win just one match on Tuesday to do so. After their first round opponent withdrew, Carroll and Belandres dispatched Rick Zheng and Sriram Das of Sunnyvale-Fremont in straight sets (6-3, 6-3). The semifinals and finals will both be held on Wednesday at the Imperial Courts on the campus of Cabrillo College in Aptos, with the semifinals set to begin at 1 p.m., weather permitting. Carroll and Belandres will face the Carlmont team of Chris Cho and Daniel Arakaki, who upset fourth-seeded Benjamin Bray and Derek Pinai of Saratoga to set up a clash with the top-seeded Wildcats.
Marcon’s run ends at CCS championship: Angelo Marcon’s junior season ended on Monday morning in Monterey as the Sacred Heart Cathedral star missed the cut for next week’s NorCal golf championship by one stroke, shooting 72 at the Laguna Seca Golf Club, which tied him for seventh at the section championships.
CCS baseball: Should weather comply, both St. Ignatius and Sacred Heart Cathedral are set to compete in the first round of the CCS Division II Baseball Tournament on Wednesday afternoon, with both teams hitting the road. St. Ignatius (15-12) was seeded 11th, and the Wildcats are set to head to Morgan Hill for a 4 p.m. matchup with sixth-seeded Live Oak. Sacred Heart Cathedral (15-11) received the 12th seed and is set to travel to Aragon for a game beginning at 3:30.
With the quarterfinals set for Saturday and the finals not until the following Saturday, the section should have ample time to make up games if needed.
Lowell wins AAA golf again: For the eighth time in the last 10 years, the Lowell Cardinals are AAA golf champions, defeating Lincoln in Monday’s championship match at Lincoln Park. Lowell’s Caleb Leung shot a 73 to win the individual championship comfortably, beating out Washington’s Jacob Goode by six strokes and Washington’s Soichiro Iwata by seven.