On a senior-dominated baseball team, Lowell pitcher Joe Solomonwas given sophomore duties much of the season — carrying the equipment bag to coach John Donohue’s car.

After pitching six nearly flawless innings in the deciding game of theTransbay Series against Oakland Techon Tuesday, Donohue and the Cardinals considered carrying Solomon off the field.

The 5-foot-11, 180-pound right-hander allowed four hits, struck out five and kept Oakland Tech off balance as the San Francisco Section champs won 4-1 at San Francisco State’s Maloney Field to capture their third straight Transbay Series against the Oakland Section winners.

It also sent Donohue out a winner after 33 seasons, 735 victories, 14 SFS championships and seven Transbay titles.


“The kid pitched great,” Donohue said. “The plan was for him to go five innings tops, but he was so good, we kept him out there.”

Said Solomon: “It was great. It was really fun to play with him. I’m happy to play his last year.”

Cal Poly-bound senior Craig Colen worked a scoreless seventh and struck out two to put the finishing touches on the game and season.

The Cardinals (26-9) had eight hits, two each from seniors Luis Hernandez and Markus Min, and freshman catcherOwen Mahoney.

Senior first baseman Nick Rolph contributed a booming RBI double — the only extra-base hit in the game — and senior shortstop Josh Ng squeezed in the team’s final run, scoring pinch runner Anderson Giang.

“I don’t do much any more, but I did call that one,” Donohue said. “That was a good run to go out on.”

Lowell took the lead in the first when Anthony Aguirre singled, stole second and scored on a single from Chris Calhoun.

Oakland Tech (9-10-1) tied it in the third on an RBI single from Ben Fratti, before Lowell went up for good in the fourth on an RBI single by Min.

Min, a senior right fielder, also threw out a runner attempting to score in the first on a potential sacrifice fly.

“He had a heck of a game,” Donohue said.

Rolph’s double off the fence in left-center scored Adam Gardi, making it 3-1 in the fifth.

In the sixth, Mahoney got his second hit, and Giang ran for him and eventually crossed the plate on Ng’s one-out bunt.

That was more than enough for Solomon and Colen.

“I couldn’t have gone out with a better group of young men,” said Donohue. “And I couldn’t have done any of this without a great, great coaching staff.”

Romeo Aurelio, one of three of Donohue’s former players to help run the team, said they’ve tried to talk their old coach into coming back.

“He won’t hear any of it this time,” said Aurelio, who has coached with Donohue 21 seasons. “His greatest attribute is the sense of calm he always brought all of us. We’re going to miss everything about him.”

Correspondent Damin Esper contributed to this report.

Mitch Stephens is a national columnist with MaxPreps.com. E-mail: mstephens@maxpreps.com Twitter: @MitchMashMax