The Braff brothers, T.J. and Ozzie, did their best impression of the Bash Brothers as the two combined for six hits and six RBI to pace Palo Alto to a 6-3 victory over host Cupertino in a SCVAL De Anza Division baseball game on Thursday. The game originally was scheduled for Friday, but moved up a day due to the threat of rain.
T.J., a senior, did most of the damage by driving in five runs. He had a triple among his three hits. Ozzie, who transferred in from St. Francis, did everything a leadoff hitter is supposed to do with three hits, three runs scored and an RBI. He also stole two bases.
Those efforts helped the Vikings improve to 4-0 in the division (7-3 overall) and remain in a first-place tie with a handful of other teams.
Kevin Kannappan picked up the pitching win with five innings of five-hit ball. Senior Drake Swezey had two innings of two-hit scoreless relief.
Palo Alto will visit Menlo School on Saturday at 2 p.m., weather permitting, in a matchup of two Central Coast Section finalists from last season.
Waiting a day for better weather, Menlo School also got to play at home and made the most of the changes to produce a 5-3 nonleague victory over Hillsdale in a rematch of last season's CCS Division III championship game. The Knights won that one, too.
Menlo (7-1) scored five unearned runs in the bottom of the first and hung on. The Knights of Menlo got four straight two-out hits in first to drive in runs before Hillsdale starter Eddie Pagnano settled down and allowed Menlo only two more hits the rest of the way as he threw a complete game, striking out seven and walking none.
Menlo got sterling relief pitching from senior Jake Bruml, who got his third win of the season, and junior Freddy Avis, who closed it out with a perfect seventh inning for his first save of the season. Menlo returns to action on Saturday with a home game (2 p.m.) against Palo Alto (7-3), weather permitting.
Senior Patrick Grimes had two birdies during an even-par round of 36 to pace the Menlo School boys' golf team to a 193-242 victory over host Crystal Springs in a West Bay Athletic League match at Crystal Springs Golf Course in Hillsborough on Thursday. The Knights (3-0) remained atop the league standings as senior Bobby Pender shot a 1-over 37 while the rest of the scorers (Jackson Dean, Andrew Buchanan and Will Petit) all shot 40. Petit made a 22-foot birdie putt on the final hole to register his season-low score. James Huber, whose 42 didn't factor into the scoring, also had his season best.
Defending champion Palo Alto remained unbeaten in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League with a 7-6 victory over host St. Francis on Thursday night.
The Vikings (2-0, 2-3) held a 7-3 lead until getting their third yellow (penalty) card with 11:37 left in the match. Paly was forced to remove a player from the field and play shorthanded the rest of the match. The Lancers took advantage and scored three times within a three-minute period, the last with six minutes remaining. With the score 7-6, the teams traded possession until the Vikings were able to hold for the victory.
In nonleague action, Martha Harding scored eight goals and added an assist but visiting Castilleja still dropped a 16-13 decision to host Lick-Wilmerding at Balboa Park in San Francisco on Thursday.
Despite grabbing an early lead, host Palo Alto suffered through one bad inning and dropped a 5-2 decision to Los Gatos to open the SCVAL De Anza Division season on Thursday.
The Vikings (0-1, 1-5) took a 1-0 lead in the first following two Los Gatos errors. The Wildcats (1-0, 6-2-1), however, made up for that with five runs in the top of the third – highlighted by a two-run double and a two-run single. Paly pitcher Grace Stafford (0-3) suffered the loss despite allowing just four hits.
Paly got a run back in the fifth when Maya Padilla doubled and Anna Gale singled but the threat ended there.
Sweeping the singles behind victories from Nick Pizzuti, Daver Refioglu, Cameron Kirtpatrick and Will Savage, the Sacred Heart Prep boys' tennis team handed visiting Harker a 5-2 defeat in West Bay Athletic League action on Thursday. The Gators improved to 2-1 in league (3-3 overall).
In the SCVAL De Anza Division, Gunn swept the doubles and pulled out a 4-3 victory over host Lynbrook on Thursday. The Titans (1-2, 7-3) also got a crucial 7-5, 6-1 victory at No. 4 singles from Roy Peleg. The Gunn doubles teams of Kevin Macario-Jack Kwan, Joe Atlas-Ameya Rao, Arjun Narayen-Thomas George all were solid.
In the PAL Bay Division, host Menlo-Atherton remained unbeaten in league play following a 7-0 triumph over San Mateo on Thursday. The Bears improved to 4-0 in league (6-2 overall) while losing only nine points in singles.
Track and field
The Gunn boys and girls were swept by host Mountain View on Thursday in SCVAL De Anza Division dual meets, the girls dropping a 76-51 decision while the Gunn boys lost, 75-52.
In the girls' meet, Gunn had double winners in senior Kiana Choroski (both hurdles) and junior Kieran Gallagher (800 and 200). Senior Erin Robinson added the only other victory, in the 3,200.
Gunn sophomore Kirsten Baird finished second in the high jump at 5-3, but that was good enough to tie her for second all-time in Gunn history.
In the boys' meet, Gunn junior Andrew Prior won both the 1,600 and 800, with his time in the metric mile (4:23.02) moving him to No. 8 all-time in Gunn history. It also knocked head coach Matt Tompkins off the school top-10 record list.
Other event winners for Gunn included junior Alex Barthelemy (110 HH) and senior Cody Carefoot (shot put).
In the West Bay Athletic League on Wednesday, the Menlo School boys captured the team title in the first meet of the season at College of San Mateo. The Knights scored 168.5 points to easily hold off King's Academy (110).
Menlo senior Sam Parker won the 800 (2:03.60) and 1,600 (4:41.80) with senior Jordan Williams winning the 300 intermediate hurdles (46.65), the high jump (5-6) and long jump (18-9 1/2). John Shanley also had a pair of victories, in the 110 high hurdles (18.67) and the triple jump (40-3 1/2). Mafileo Tupou added a victory in the shot put (40-5) as the Knights won eight events.