Covering High School Sports in America
File photo by Todd Shurtleff

The last time Lowell won a San Francisco Section baseball title was 2008 - quite a dog pile following a win over Washington at AT&T Park.

Look who is back in the San Francisco Section baseball title game.

Two longtime rivals, Lowell (San Francisco) and Washington (San Francisco), will meet in the finals Wednesday at AT&T Park following semifinal victories on Thursday.

One was expected. The other was an upset. Sort of.

File photo by David Stephenson

Washington is 2-time defending champs.

Washington (13-14), which has struggled most of the season, upended Balboa (San Francisco) 10-5, while round-robin champion Lowell (24-6) breezed past Marshall 14-4.

Jesse Tom led five Lowell players with two hits, but he drove in four runs. Jasper Scherer, Vaughn Blue, Aaron Leong and Andy Glickfeld all had two hits. Scherer scored three times and Blue and Leong drive in a pair each.

Elijah Saunders went the distance – the game went just six innings due to the mercy rule – and scattered four hits, allowed one earned run, struck out seven and walked one. Saunders improved to 6-1 and has an ERA of 0.84. He also hit a first-inning home run.

Leong is 6-0 (2.18 ERA) and Scherer (5-1, 1.46) are the team's other two starters. Lowell beat Marshall 12-2 and 6-1 earlier in the season. Marshall finished 10-12.

Washington lashed 13 hits, three from Chris Hau and two each by Zach Dair, Ryan Chan and Chris Yee, in its win over Balboa (19-6), which was trying to reach the title game for a second year in a row. The Eagles also benefited from eight walks.

The last two seasons Balboa lost to Washington in the championship game at AT&T Park, 10-0 and 4-1. Earlier in the season, Balboa, under coach Tom Pontino, had defeated Washington 11-4 and 9-5.

But a six-run rally in the third gave Washington a 7-0 edge and Balboa could never quite recover. The Buccaneers have been led all season by junior Eli Smoot , who came into Thursday's game hitting .456 with eight doubles, four triples and 29 RBI.

File photo by Todd Shurtleff

Lowell beat Washington 8-4 in 2008 title game.

Smoot was hit hard Thursday and Washington countered with Kyle Hoo and Yee, who combined on a five hitter with three strikeouts and three walks. Each pitcher allowed two earned runs.

The Eagles, hampered by injuries earlier in the season, split two games with Lowell this season, winning 4-1 and losing 8-4 on April 24-25 at Big Rec.

Washington, under Rob Fung, has won two straight and three of the last four SFS titles.

It's been four years since Lowell won a title under legendary coach John Donohue. Before that, Lowell won 11 in 14 years.

Washington or Lowell have won all but three SFS titles since 1990. Donohue is 687-367 in his illustrious career.