Palo Alto baseball remains perfect in league play


In a showdown between two of the three unbeaten teams in the SCVAL De Anza Division baseball race, Palo Alto handed Homestead its first setback with an 11-0 pounding on Wednesday.

The host Vikings (3-0, 7-1) broke the game open in the second inning with seven runs -- all coming after two were out. Highlighting the frame was Owen Plambeck's two-run homer and a run-producing double by Ben Cleasby.

Phil Lewis drove in three runs with Alex Olmstead contributing two hits and two RBI for the Vikings, who got a combined four-hitter from Isaac Kasevich and Ellis O'Brien.

The teams will meet again Friday at Homestead at 4 p.m.

In the PAL Bay Division, the Sacred Heart Prep and Menlo-Atherton pitching staffs got a real workout as the rivals had a combined nine pitchers give up 30 runs, 25 hits and 18 walks in a 16-14 victory by the visiting Gators.

John Van Sweden led the winners with four hits, two RBI and five runs scored with Cole March and Mitch Martella each adding three hits and three RBI for SHP (2-1, 4-4) in the six-inning game. Nick Prainito led the Bears (0-1, 3-7) with three hits, including a pair of doubles, and four RBI.

The teams, which combined for eight errors (five by M-A), will meet again Friday on the Gators' field at 4 p.m.

In Pacifica, Menlo School dropped its PAL Bay Division opener to host Terra Nova, 6-3, in the first of a two-game, back-to-back series. The Knights (2-3 overall) weren't lacking in offensive punch as Antonio Lopez and Carson Gampell led the offense with three hits each. Lopez added two RBI while David Farnham also had a pair of hits with a run and RBI.

The teams will meet Friday at Menlo, starting at 3 p.m. (an hour earlier than previously scheduled).

Boys golf

Posting its low team round of the season, Menlo School took over sole possession of second place in the West Bay Athletic League race with a 188-193 dual-match victory over rival Sacred Heart Prep at Palo Alto Hills Golf & Country Club.

Sophomore Rohin Chandra led Menlo to victory as co-medalist by shooting an even-par 36 on the front nine. Chandra has improved in every match this year as he again took advantage of his distance off the tee by recording a birdie on the par-5 third hole. Chandra left his approach shot just short of the hole and got up and down to go 1 under at that point. Chandra lipped his par putt out on the ninth hole to just miss his first under-par round.

Menlo freshman Max Ting was paired with Chandra on the day and credits Chandra's steady play to his successful round.

"Rohin always shows great course management and stays within his game, which was a major reason he shot seven pars on the front nine," said Ting.

Menlo senior co-captain Ethan Wong returned to form after a weekend trip to Dallas to work on his short game and recorded a 38. Wong also recorded seven pars on the day and also bogeyed the ninth hole after a downhill sliding putt stopped just short of dropping. Menlo junior Jeff Herr recorded three birdies on the day, including both of the par fives.

Derek Ackerman led SHP (3-2, 4-2) with an even-par 36 to share medalist honors. Bradley Keller shot 37 and Will Johnson a 39.

Boys tennis

Menlo School will take a 9-0 record and the top seed into the annual National Invitational this weekend in Newport Beach.

"I don't know if being the No. 1 seed is a good thing," said Menlo coach Bill Shine, "because the No. 1 seed has never won this tournament."

The Knights will face their toughest competition of the season in the loaded event, which includes defending champ Beacon School of New York, No. 2 seed Torrey Pines of San Diego and past champ University (Irvine).

"It'll be tough," said Shine, whose team opens against Horace Mann of New York on Friday. A victory will match the Knights against the winner of Haverford (Pa.) and Brophy Prep (Arizona) in the second round.

Menlo wouldn't face Torrey Pines until the finals on Saturday, but still has to navigate a tough bracket. Also in the field is San Marino, which Menlo beat for third place last year.

Menlo will be without one of its top players, Victor Chari, who is sidelined this week.

Track and field

Menlo School senior Lizzie Lacy clocked a school record of 10:54.31 while winning the girls' 3,200 meters during the first WBAL meet of the season on Wednesday at Sacred Heart Prep. That time ranks Lacy No. 3 in the Central Coast Section this season and No. 6 in the state.

Lacy, who is set to compete in cross country and track and field for Amherst next season, beat her closest competitor by nearly two minutes.

The Menlo girls also won the 400 relay with the team of De'Jeane Stine, Elisa Merten, Lauren Henske and Electa Narasin winning in 51.43.

Senior Jamie Corley, who is headed to play soccer at Tufts in the fall, won the long jump and triple jump. Merten, bound for Brown to play volleyball in the fall, easily won the 300 hurdles.

In the boys' competition, Menlo junior Dennis Mandudzo ran away with the 3,200 in 10:39.70.

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