Sports

Palo Alto, SHP and Menlo School all earn baseball co-titles

 

The Palo Alto, Menlo School and Sacred Heart Prep baseball teams all shared something special on Friday – a co-championship.

The Vikings defeated host Wilcox, 5-3, to win the best-of-three SCVAL De Anza Division championship playoff series, thus earning a co-title with the regular-season champion Chargers.

Menlo pounded out a 10-1 victory over visiting King's Academy to earn a share of the West Bay Athletic League crown with Sacred Heart Prep, which squeaked by visiting Pinewood, 2-0.

All three teams will find out where and when they'll be playing in the postseason at Saturday's CCS seeding meeting.

In Santa Clara, T.J. Braff slammed a three-run homer and Drake Swezey scattered nine hits over six innings as Palo Alto earned a share of the SCVAL De Anza Division title. The Chargers (25-7) had beaten the Vikings (24-9) twice during the regular season but Paly returned the favor with a pair of wins this week.

Will Glazier and Austin Braff each had doubles while Braff and John Dickerson contributed two hits. Ben Sneider, who was roughed up in the series opener and suffered the loss, tossed a perfect inning of relief. Both teams now advance to the Central Coast Section playoffs, with the pairings decided this weekend.

In Atherton, Menlo received some stellar pitching from Pomona-bound senior Jake Bruml to easily defeat King's Academy. The championship is Menlo's fourth in a row – two in the PAL Bay Division and the last two in the WBAL -- while it was the Knights' 17th league title in the past 28 years.

Bruml was dominate as he carried a no-hitter into the seventh when, with one out, a seeing-eye single got through the middle of the infield. That was followed by an infield single with two out that produced the only run. Bruml finished with 12 strikeouts and walked only three. Seven different Menlo players drove in runs with junior Julian Ryles coming off the bench with a big two-run triple to put the game away.

Also in Atherton, Matt Martella and Tomas O'Donnell each slammed solo home runs in the fourth inning to propel Sacred Heart Prep to a 2-0 win over visiting Pinewood on Friday and a co-championship in the WBAL. In a surprising low-scoring affair, the Gators (9-1, 16-11) clinched their second straight co-title with Menlo School.

Softball

Castilleja rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh to pull out a 5-4 victory over King's Academy and earned a co-championship in the West Bay Athletic League softball race with Menlo School. Aryana Yee limited King's to five hits to get the victory. She and teammate Amanda Shore each had two doubles among their three hits. The Gators (9-3, 13-12) will continue their season in the CCS Division III playoffs next week.

Boys' track and field

Palo Alto followed up its title at the SCVAL De Anza Division championships by scoring 90 points and winning the SCVAL Qualifier on Friday at Santa Clara High. The Vikings won the 400 relay in 42.91, one of the two fastest times in school history, and got a 1-2-3 finish in the 100 from Maurice Williams, Miles Anderson and Tremaine Kirkman.

Williams also placed second in the long jump and third in the triple jump as Paly finished 21 points ahead of runnerup Los Altos.

The victory was accomplished despite the absence of sophomore E.J. Floreal, a double-winner from the league finals who suffered an injury during the week. He'll have a run-off in the 200 this week for a spot in the CCS trials next Saturday.

Gunn junior Andrew Prior qualified for the CCS trials by winning the 1,600 in 4:32.15. Alex Barthelemy advanced in both hurdle races.

Girls' track and field

Gunn senior Erin Robinson cruised to an easy win in the 3,200 in 11:14.82 to pace the Titans to a sixth-place finish at the SCVAL Qualifier on Friday at Santa Clara High. The meet brought together the top finishers from the SCVAL El Camino and De Anza Division league finals.

Gunn senior Kiana Choroski advanced to the CCS trials next Saturday at Gilroy High by taking second in the 100 hurdles in a season-best 15.70 and fourth in the 300 hurdles.

Paly freshman Pippa Raffel leaped 16-7 for third in the long jump while Gunn junior Julia Maggioncalda advanced in the long jump and high jump.

-- Palo Alto Online Sports

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