Menlo School remained unbeaten in the PAL Ocean Division baseball race thanks to a walk-off RBI single by Rylan Pade in the bottom of the seventh inning as he delivered a 3-2 triumph over visiting Half Moon Bay on Thursday.
Menlo improved to 2-0 in league and 7-1 overall after sweeping the two-game series with Half Moon Bay.
After the Cougars had tied the game at 2 with a run in the top of the seventh, Pade came to the plate with two outs and drove a pitch over the center fielder's head for the winning RBI.
"I am really proud of our team for grinding all seven innings," said Menlo coach Ryan Cavan. "Rylan Pade has been playing big for us all season, and I expected him to come through in that situation. He is a captain, a team leader and it was great to see such a great performance from him offensively."
Starting junior pitcher Griff McGarry set the tone for the Knights on the mound as he tossed six innings and threw 74 pitches while averaging just 12 pitches per inning.
McGarry started the seventh, but left the game due to the pitch count. David Farnham came on in relief to record the win, after pitching out of a bases-loaded situation with one out while allowing just one run.
Jared Lucian had an RBI in the first and Chandler Yu doubled to lead off the second, scoring on a hit by McGarry. In the bottom of the seventh, RJ Babiera led off the inning with a single. He advanced to second and scored on Pade's hit.
In the first-ever meeting between Menlo School and first-year Marin Academy, the host Knights came away with a 14-4 triumph on Thursday.
Nikky Price had four goals and two assists for Menlo (1-1) with Indira Varma added three goals and two assists with Charlotte Swisher scoring three times. Allison Liddle finished with two goals plus an assist for the Knights. Eight of the 14 goals were assisted.
Menlo turned the ball over 11 times in the first 25 minutes of play, despite out-shooting Marin Academy by 10-3 and won five of eight draws. In the second half, Menlo won nine of 12 draw controls and had only four turnovers. That resulted in nine goals, six of which were assisted. Menlo wound up with a 21-4 edge in shots and won 14 of 19 draw controls.
Castilleja won its third straight game with a 16-0 nonleague victory over host Menlo-Atherton on Thursday. Catcher Abby Lowell led the Gators (4-3) with four RBI and three hits, including a home run. Allison Zanolli and Tara Thakurta also picked up three hits each. Thakurta gave up only one hit over three innings to get the pitching win while Jolie Kemp finished up the last inning for the Gators, sealing the mercy-rule victory over the Bears (1-4).
In Palo Alto, Gunn opened its SCVAL El Camino Division season with a 12-2 mercy-rule victory over visiting Lynbrook. The Titans (1-0, 5-1) needed only four innings to score 12 runs on 12 hits. Emily Kim led the Titans with three hits. Pitcher Megan Ostrom allowed only three hits while contributing two hits herself.
Track and field
Despite showing up without his track shoes and purchasing new shoes a few minutes before competing, junior Kent Slaney nonetheless went on to win the 1,600, 800 and then the 3,200 to help the Palo Alto boys roll to a 92-35 dual-meet victory over visiting Homestead in SCVAL De Anza Division action Thursday.
Slaney also had the fastest split on the winning 1600-meter relay to complete a grueling day as the Vikings improved to 2-0 in league duals.
Paly junior Michel-Ange Siaba won both the high jump (5-8) and the triple jump (40-1 1/2), and put in solid performances in the shot put and discus. Ryan Jamison took first in shot put with a personal best of 42-10 1/2.