The Palo Alto baseball team has moved back into a tie for first place in the SCVAL De Anza Division heading into a crucial, regular-season ending series with Los Altos this week.
As a result, Palo Alto is 11-1 in league (20-3 overall) and will play at Los Altos (11-1) on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m., with a chance to take over sole possession of first place.
The teams will meet again on Friday, at Palo Alto (3:30 p.m.) before heading into the SCVAL playoffs that begin next week.
The Vikings now have reached at least 20 wins in three straight seasons, all under head coach Erick Raich. Paly is 77-16 during that time, including back-to-back appearances in a Central Coast Section championship game.
In another makeup game Monday, Gunn ran its winning streak to 11 straight by handing host Burlingame a 9-7 nonleague loss at Washington Park. The game originally was rained out on March 17. Gunn moved to 16-5.
Gunn senior right-hander Ryan Gorman took the mound and got his third consecutive complete-game victory while improving to 7-0. Uncharacteristically, however, he allowed at least one baserunner in every inning, and had no strikeouts.
The defense, however, contributed two double plays in the first two innings to shut down Panther threats. On the day, Gorman allowed five earned runs on 12 hits.
For the second game in a row, the Titans struck first in the first inning, scoring three runs on one hit while capitalizing on three Burlingame errors and two walks. Gunn scored another two runs in the top of the second inning, plus another in the third, staking Gorman to a lead he would not relinquish.
Senior Jake Verhulp continued his eight-game hitting streak, going 2-for-4, with a triple, two runs scored, ond RBI and a stolen base. Junior catcher Ben Sampson also had two hits on the day, with two RBI and one run scored.
The Titans take a few days off before returning to El Camino Division action, hosting Lynbrook Thursday afternoon at 3:30 p.m.
Menlo School moved to within a victory of winning its second straight West Bay Athletic League title following a 186-193 victory over host Harker on Monday at Los Lagos Golf Course in San Jose. The first-place Knights (8-1) need only to beat King's Academy on Wednesday at Palo Alto Hills to wrap up the championship.
Junior Andrew Buchanan and freshman Ethan Wong both shot a 1-over-par 35 to pace Menlo's crucial victory. Senior co-Captain Will Petit gave his team a big emotional lift with a strong round of 37. Junior Max Garnick turned in another good round with a 39 and senior co-captain Jackson Dean contributed a 40. Senior co-captain James Huber just missed a scoring round by shooting a 41.
Wong successfully navigated the unusual Los Lagos layout that includes five par-3 holes in the front nine by shooting even par on all the par 3's. Wong also finished strong on the front nine holes by going par, par, birdie on the final three holes. Petit turned in an unusually steady round with six pars and three bogeys. Garnick continued his effective play in his first year playing on the varsity team by parring the final three holes.
In another WBAL match, sophomore Bradley Knox earned medalist honors for the fourth straight match while leading Sacred Heart Prep to a 195-278 victory over Crystal Springs at Sharon Heights Country Club on Monday.
The Gators (7-2) locked up second place and kept their slim hopes alive for a possible tie, should first-place Menlo (8-1) lose on Wednesday. SHP will face Pinewood in its final match the same day, at Palo Alto Municipal. Knox had two birdies and two bogeys while shooting an even-par round of 36.
At Los Altos Golf & Country Club, Pinewood posted a 204-240 WBAL victory over visiting King's Academy as junior Colton Bares shot a 1-under 35 to pace the Panthers (4-5). Kim Beers shot a season-best 38 while Trevor Hernstadt, Andrew Capin and Colin Gulesserian all shot 44.
Erin LaPorte and Shannon Aguiar each had two hits and two RBI to pace Menlo-Atherton to a 16-6 victory over visiting El Camino in a PAL Ocean Division makeup game on Monday. The Bears (4-4, 11-9) also got a triple and two RBI from Katie Vallarino in the five-inning game.
Palo Alto gained a measure of revenge by beating host Cupertino, 4-3, in a SCVAL De Anza Division match on Monday. The win in the makeup match avenged an earlier Paly loss to the Pioneers.
Nicky Hu led the Vikings (4-7, 11-8) with a 6-2, 6-3 victory at No. 1 singles. Austin Leung won at No. 3 singles, 6-2, 6-1, with the Vikings wrapping things up in doubles. The No. 2 tandem of Adi Mahedavan and Jack Palladin clinched the victory with a 2-6, 6-1, 6-2 triumph as Cupertino fell to 3-7 in league (13-7 overall).
Pat Bruni came up with 15 killa and eight blocks, four of them solo, but it wasn't enough as visiting Sacred Heart Prep dropped a 25-21, 17-25, 25-15, 19-25, 15-12 decision to Eastside Prep in SCVAL El Camino Division action on Monday. Justin Moore added 26 assists for the Gators (4-4, 6-7) while Lukas Oswald added 10 kills while Ian Bennett contributed 10 kills and 12 assists.
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