(Lowell MA) Lowell Catholic looks ready for a run at a second straight Division 4 state baseball title.
The Crusaders (21-2) defeated Georgetown, 9-4, at very warm LeLacheur Park on Saturday afternoon to get the D4 North crown and position themselves two wins away from a second championship.
Lowell Catholic was able to bunch hits/runs together in two innings and they were flawless in the field.
Georgetown (15-8), on the other hand, had eight hits but lost runners on the bases and had a deadly two-out drop of a foul popup. That drop (pitcher Alex Bornholdt) extended a 1-run fifth inning into what became a 4-run inning.
The Crusaders picked up five runs in the 4th and the Royals answered with four of their own. LC added four more in their half of the fifth and that 9-4 spread held up the rest of the way.
The team from the Cape Ann League had numerous scoring opportunities but on this day the Crusaders’ pitching combo of Tom Cahalane (4 1/3) and Kyle Rafferty (2 1/3) prevailed.
Jesse Caisse led Lowell Catholic with two hits and three RBI.
Lowell Catholic had played the day before and it looked like it in the early going. Royals’ starter Pat Slack retired the first ten batters he faced. However, Pat never got another out as LC put six hits and a walk together for five runs and Alex Bornholdt came on for G’Town in relief and quieted LC.
The Royals came right back in the top of the fifth inning. They loaded the bases with no outs and had RBI by Mike Goddu and Pat Slack. Then they loaded the bases a second time and out went starter Tom Cahalane and in came Kyle Rafferty. Georgetown added two more runs (RBI by Colby Ingraham and Kyle Nelson) before that 5th was done.
But LC still had the lead, 5-4, going into their half of the fifth. The Crusaders loaded the bases with two outs on two walks and a single. Brandon Bursey (2 hits/2 RBI) then singled sharply to left putting LC up by two. This was where the Royals had a great chance to get out of the inning with one-run damage but Jesse Caisse’s foul popup was dropped. Given another chance, the LC junior singled, bringing home two teammates. James Sullivan would later force in the 9th Lowell Catholic run with a walk.
Georgetown had two runners aboard in the sixth but an infield single (Pat Slack) turned into the final out as pinch runner Gus Savage was picked off second.
The Royals put two more players on base in the seventh but Kyle Rafferty struck out pinch hitter Nick Correnti and got Chris Chiklakis to fly out.
In the first inning, Ben Noelk was caught in a rundown. In the same inning, Colby Ingraham was picked off second.
Nick Cervizzi had 3 hits, 2 RBI, and scored 2 runs for Lowell Catholic.
The game started nearly thirty minutes late because of the lengthy (controversial?) first game between Methuen and Chelmsford.
Weather? Hotter than I like it. There are very few places at LeLacheur Park (home of the Lowell Spinners) where you could find shade. I’m betting more than a few sunburns were acquired.
Kyle Nelson, Ben Noelk, and Dan Manning each had two hits for Georgetown.
Shortstop Colby Ingraham made a next-level play on a grounder up the middle showing good range and good arm.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)