DANVERS -- The Lowell High baseball team is rightfully proud to have been selected for this inaugural Super 8 Tournament.

Now the Red Raiders are faced with urgently needing to come up with a louder way to hang around with the state's baseball big boys a while longer.

St. John's Prep senior left-hander Evan Roberts pitched a three-hit shutout on a cold and gray Wednesday afternoon as the No. 2 seed Eagles silenced No. 7 Lowell, 4-0, in a nine-inning game that lasted just one hour, 45 minutes.

Lowell (16-7) quickly fell into the losers' bracket of this double-elimination event.

"You don't want to just get here," said Lowell coach Dan Graham. "Nobody wants to go two-and-out. We just have to regroup, and hopefully learn that you have to do more against the top teams in the state if you want to get wins."

This was the first-ever Super 8 baseball game played in Massachusetts. The three other Super 8 games scheduled for Wednesday were postponed to Thursday.

Even a tournament lacrosse game scheduled for a nearby field at St. John's Prep was postponed

Yet the Lowell and St. John's Prep baseball teams were out on the Eagles' FieldTurf making history.

And since this is a double-elimination format, Lowell lives to play another day. That will be against the loser of Thursday's Lincoln-Sudbury at Bridgewater-Raynham game, probably on Saturday (date TBA).


The Red Raiders are fully invested now in old-fashioned one-and-done tournament urgency.

"Maybe the (first-round) pressure isn't as high (as in a single-elimination tournament)," said Graham. "But maybe the pressure would have been a better thing today."

"It does feel good that it is double-elimination, because we know we do have another chance," said Lowell High senior right-hander Brock Riley (9 ip, 10h, 4r, 4er, 0bb, 6k). "And that there is a tomorrow."

St. John's Prep (17-4) stays in the winners' bracket to play the winner of Thursday's L-S at Bridgewater-Raynham game.

The Red Raiders played this Super 8 opener the afternoon after their senior prom. Who knows? Maybe that factored into St. John's boldly going on with the show while surrounded by postponements. It turned out to be the right call. The weather was not a factor.

"I have a good group of kids," said Graham. "I wasn't overly concerned about them. I don't know how much sleep they got. But they didn't have school today, so they could have slept in. We'll be back at it."

And really, except for a stretch of a few pitches in the second inning when the Eagles' Keith Leavitt and Ted McNamara belted opposite-field homers to left for a 3-0 lead, Riley pitched well. He knew St. John's Prep is loaded with Division 1 college commits and prospects, and Riley pitched accordingly.

"I just really tried to throw them a lot of off-speed pitches, not give them anything they could crush," said Riley, who is headed to Franklin Pierce University. "But I made a few mistakes, left a few breaking balls out over the plate, and they took advantage of it like good baseball players (do)."

Riley in the sixth inning gave up another homer to Leavitt -- a junior already committed to Penn State -- which made it 4-0.

The home-plate umpire at one point told Graham that Riley was "pitching a great game, minus four balls he left over the middle of the plate."

"Three of them left the yard, one of them went off the fence," said Graham. "(Riley) pitched a good game. He battled."

Yet since Roberts (8-1), headed to Davidson College, was crafting a three-hit shutout with pinpoint accuracy ("sharp curve, change-up mixed in," said Lowell's Conor Callery), Riley had zero margin for error.

Lowell's Ryan McKennedy hit a two-out single to right in the second inning, but was thrown out at second base by St. John's catcher Michael Geaslen on a pitch in the dirt. (Geaslen threw out three Lowell runners in just the second and third innings.)

After Dawy Lebron's one-out double to left-center in the third, Roberts efficiently set down the next 10 Lowell batters. 

The Red Raiders' one promising moment occurred briefly in the seventh. Randy DeJesus led off with a single to center and Tyler Schermerhorn drew a one-out walk. Conor Callery then hit a rocket at Roberts, who grabbed it -- and after a slight bobble, doubled DeJesus off second base to end the inning.

"I thought it was going to be good. His glove was right there. It just happened to go right in it," said Callery.

Follow David Pevear on Twitter and Tout @merganser10