Palo Alto baseball continues
winning ways in leagueIt's a new season with a new coach, Erick Raich, and a new attitude for the Palo Alto baseball team. A winning record makes it all the better.
The Vikings remained tied for first place in the SCVAL De Anza Division by rallying for a 5-2 victory in eight innings over host Los Altos on Wednesday.
Thanks in part to monster home runs by junior first baseman T.J. Braff and junior catcher Will Glazier, the Vikings improved to 2-0 in league (6-3 overall) and stayed atop the division along with Los Gatos (3-0), a 14-6 winner over Homestead.
Palo Alto will host Los Altos on Friday (3:30 p.m.) and then visit Saratoga on Saturday in a makeup game before hosting league co-favorite Wilcox next Wednesday, also at 3:30 p.m., in the first of two big games with the Chargers (2-1).
On Wednesday, Palo Alto had to rally from a 2-1 deficit for much of the game until Braff hit a solo bomb in the bottom of the sixth inning to tie it. The teams battled into the eighth inning, until Glazier hit a three-run shot over the left-field fence to take the lead.
Paly's senior ace Scott Witte came in to shut down Los Altos in the bottom half of the inning to secure the win.
In nonleague action Tuesday, Menlo School jumped out to nine-run lead over host Menlo-Atherton and coasted to a 10-6 victory. The Knights (5-2) scored all nine runs with two outs, before the Bears battled back to pull within four before losing to the Knights.
Offensively, the key blow for Menlo was a grand slam by Danny Diekroeger in the second, one of his four hits on the day. Robert Wickers added three hits and three RBI for the Knights.
The big blow for M-A (2-3) was a two out two-run double in the sixth. Junior Jake Bruml pitched five effective innings for Menlo, allowing only two earned in picking up his first victory of the year.
In a SCVAL El Camino Division game, host Gunn (0-2, 1-4-2) managed just four hits — two by senior Travis Bowers — in a 4-0 loss to Milpitas.
With freshman Andrew Buchanan and junior Bobby Pender both turning in 1-under-par rounds of 35, Menlo had no problem registering a 188-233 victory over host Crystal Springs-Uplands in a West Bay Athletic League dual match on Wednesday at Crystal Springs Golf Course. Menlo also received even-par rounds of 36 from juniors Patrick Grimes and MJ Cootsona in the team's lowest round of the season.
Elsewhere on the perfect afternoon, St. Mary's-bound senior Dalan Refioglu shot a 1-under-par 34 to lead Sacred Heart Prep to a 193-237 dual-match victory over host Pinewood in WBAL action on Wednesday at the par-35 Palo Alto Hills Country Club. The Gators maintained first place with their 3-0 record (5-0 overall). Jeff Knox (38), Brett Van Zanten (39), Kevin Knox (41) and Andrew Vetter (41) rounded out the scoring.
In the SCVAL De Anza Division, Palo Alto swept matches from Mountain view and Los Altos in a double-dual at Shoreline Golf Links on Wednesday. The Vikings defeated Los Altos, 190-204, and topped Mountain View, 190-204, to improve to 5-0 this season. Michael Yuan shared medalist honors with a 1-under 35.
With Chris Brown and Chris Kvamme both scoring three times, Menlo held off visiting Los Gatos, 9-7, in a Peninsula Athletic League match on Tuesday. Phil Taylor, David Lee and Kyle Bullington also scored for the Knights.
In another PAL match, Menlo-Atherton fell to host Burlingame, 10-4. Zander Rohn scored twice for the Bears while Ryan Johnston and Drew Uphoff added solo goals.
With Charlotte Biffar, Leigh Dairaghi and Brianna Boyd all scoring two goals each, Palo Alto remained unbeaten with an 11-3 SCVAL season-opening victory over visiting Leland on Wednesday. Eight different players scored for the Vikings (1-0, 3-0), who jumped out to an 8-0 lead and cruised to the win.
On Tuesday, Martha Harding scored six goals and added four assists to lead visiting Castilleja (1-1) to a 20-5 victory over host Harker on Tuesday. Charlotte Geighan-Breiner added four goals.
In another nonleague match, Menlo-Atherton dropped a 13-9 decision to visiting Los Gatos despite getting four goals from Christina Rodgers. Katie Kelley added two goals for the Bears (2-3).
Elsewhere, Gunn dropped a 16-3 decision to host Burlingame.
The Sacred Heart Prep boys splashed their way past three opponents in the first-ever WBAL quad meet on Wednesday in the Gators' pool. SHP dunked Crystal Springs, Pinewood and Priory in dual meets, winning all but the final 400 free relay. Senior David Culpan won the 100 fly (55.88) and 500 free (4:54.95) in solid times for the Gators (3-0, 4-1), who previously competed in the West Catholic Athletic League.
In the first-ever WBAL girls' quad, host Sacred Heart Prep swept all but two events while defeating Mercy-San Francisco, Pinewood and Priory on Wednesday. Sophomore Erin Sheridan took the 50 free (25.65) and 100 free (56.17) in addition to swimming on the winning 200 free and 400 free relay teams.
Elsewhere in the WBAL, the Menlo girls got two victories from freshman Alyssa Meyer and a win in the 50-meter free from senior Daisy Anderson, but it wasn't enough as the Knights dropped an 85-62 dual meet to visiting Notre Dame-San Jose on Wednesday. Meyer won the 200 IM and 100 fly with Anderson taking second in the 100 free.
Menlo tuned up for this week's National High School Boys Invitational Team Tournament in Newport Beach with a dominating 7-0 victory over visiting Sacred Heart Prep in a WBAL dual match on Tuesday. The Knights (5-0, 7-0) juggled their lineup and still swept every match in straight sets while losing only a total of 11 games on the day.
Menlo got a victory from every class in singles as sophomore Justin Chan, senior Patrick Chase, freshman Richard Pham and junior Andrew Carlisle lost only a combined seven games.
Menlo is the No. 2 seed for the National Invitational while CCS co-favorite Saratoga is No. 3. The top seed is University (Irvine). Menlo will open Friday morning against Beacon School of New York City. A victory means a second-round match against the winner of Seattle Prep and Beverly Hills High. Menlo could meet Saratoga in Saturday morning's semifinals.
In the SCVAL De Anza Division, Palo Alto remained unbeaten with a solid 5-2 victory over visiting Los Gatos on Tuesday. The Vikings (4-0, 8-2) split the singles but swept the doubles behind the tandems of Peter Tseng-Grant Audet, Jujhaar Singh-Michael Li plus Scott Monismith-Jeff Wang.
Also in the division, Gunn took care of visiting Lynbrook, 5-2, with Rajeev Herekar leading the way with a 6-1, 6-2 victory at No. 1 singles. The Titans won it thanks to a sweep in doubles behind the tandems of Simon Kaubisch-Roy Peleg, Scott McKenzie-Paul Wang and kevin Macario-Jo Atlas.
Gunn (3-2, 5-4) came back on Wednesday for a makeup match and defeated Homestead, 5-2.
In the PAL Bay Division, Menlo-Atherton remained atop the standings with a 7-0 blanking of host San Mateo on Tuesday. The Bears (5-0) juggled their lineup and still took six of seven matches in straight sets. Alden Mitchell took over at No. 1 singles and produced a 6-3, 6-2 victory. Nick Oliver, Richie Sarwal and Jonathan Friedman also won in singles.