Palo Alto's playoff woes continued in a 2-1 loss to Homestead in 16 innings on Tuesday in the second round of the SCVAL De Anza Division baseball playoffs on Tuesday.
The Vikings (16-14) lost twice to Saratoga last week, knocking them into a best-of-three series with Homestead for third place. Paly now has to win at Homestead on Thursday and again at home Friday to claim third.
The Mustangs grabbed a 1-0 lead in the third and the Vikings tied the game in the fifth. It stayed that way until Homestead squeezed home a run in the top of the 16th.
Homestead used only two pitchers and Paly three, with Danny Erlich taking the loss after throwing five innings of five-hit ball. Paly's Rohit Ramkumar was the middle reliever, throwing five innings of one-hit ball with no runs allowed. Chris Smith went the first six innings, allowing one run and six hits while striking out six. Paly pitchers combined to strike out 14.
Isaac Feldstein drove in Paly's lone run. Austin Poore and James Foug each had two hits for the Vikings, who were a combined 10 of 61 at the plate (.192).
In the West Bay Athletic League, Menlo School pounded out 17 hits while rolling to an 11-2 victory over host Pinewood. The Knights improved to 8-1 in league (18-7 overall) and remained tied for first place with Sacred Heart Prep.
The victory gives Menlo a chance to clinch a share of its sixth straight league title should the Knights beat visiting Harker on Friday. Should SHP lose one of its final two games, Menlo will win the title outright.
Senior catcher Austin Marcus slammed two home runs among his four hits and drove in five runs. Christian Pluchar added two doubles and three RBI while fellow junior Graham Stratford contributed three hits and two RBI.
Jack Redman went four innings to pick up his sixth win of the season while Chris Atkeson came on in relief and tossed three scoreless innings.
Menlo will head into the CCS playoffs next week for the 25th time in 26 years.
Sacred Heart Prep and Palo Alto both qualified teams to next week's CCS Championships after finishing among the top four squads at the CCS Regional I on Tuesday at Rancho Canada (West) in Carmel Valley.
The Gators shot 377 and the Vikings 384 while trailing R.L. Stevenson (358) and San Benito (373). Among the four teams failing to advance was Gunn (399).
SHP and Paly will compete in the CCS Championships next Tuesday at Rancho Canada (West) along with the top four teams from the CCS Regional II playoffs.
SHP was led by junior Bradley Knox, who fired a 1-under 70 while Derek Ackerman shot 75, Taylor Oliver 76 with Bradley Keller and Ryan Galvin adding 78s.
Palo Alto was led by Patrick Fuery's 73 and a 76 by John Knowles. Alex Hwang and Grant Raffel each shot 78 with Michelle Xie wrapping up the scoring with a 79.
While Gunn missed qualifying as a team, the Titans had senior Avinash Sharma (74) and junior Anson Cheng (76) advanced among the nine individual qualifiers.
Jack Jaffe shot 81 for Gunn while teammates Zack Tevanian and Herbert Sadler-Wong each carded an 84.
Menlo-Atherton advanced to the semifinals of the WBAL playoffs with a 13-11 victory over host Burlingame on Tuesday night.
The Bears (6-12-1) got the game-winning goal from freshman Beven Martin as M-A took a 12-11 lead with three minutes to play. The Panthers appeared to have scored the equalizer with a minute left, but the goal was waived off due to an off-sides call. Emily Carlson cemented the triumph with a final goal with seven seconds left. She finished with three goals, as did Meredith Geaghan-Breiner.
Burlingame grabbed an early 3-2 lead but M-A defenders Megan Wiseman, Hanah Wilson and Maya Israni made key defensive stops. Morgan Corona, Geaghan-Breiner and Sally Carlson scored three unanswered goals as the Bears took a 5-3 lead.
Burlingame opened the second half on a 5-2 run before M-A countered with five goals.
Next up for M-A will be a road game at defending champ Menlo School on Thursday at 5 p.m.
Sacred Heart Prep, meanwhile, will host Castilleja at the same time in the other semifinal. Castilleja eliminated host Notre Dame-San Jose, 13-7, on Tuesday. Katherine Hobbs led the Gators with four goals with Biffar and Kaley Nelson each adding three. Charlotte Jones, Ellie Zales, and Laurel Nelson all scored once.
Hobbs, a senior, now has 77 goals this season and is only three goals away from the school's all-time scoring record held by Martha Harding.
Menlo School closed the regular season with a 6-3 victory over visiting Alma Heights on Tuesday, and will host Skyline Division champ Crystal Springs in a WBAL Foothill Division playoff game Friday at 4 p.m.
Malia Bates doubled home two runs on an 0-2 count in the fifth inning to provide the winning margin for the Knights. Senior Kelly McConnell finished with a triple, a double, and allowed five hits in a complete-game victory.