The Palo Alto and Sacred Heart Prep baseball teams are sitting in similar situations in their respective races following important victories on Wednesday.
The Vikings are second in the SCVAL De Anza Division while the Gators are second in the PAL Bay Division. While division titles may be too much to ask with the regular season nearly over, both local squads are headed to the postseason.
Palo Alto struggled against fifth-place Milpitas, surviving five lead changes before pulling out a 3-2 victory in eight innings.
Paly (11-2, 18-3-1), which trails first-place Los Gatos (12-1) by a game, scored the winning run in the top of the eighth. Max Jung-Goldberg walked with one out and, following a strikeout, Owen Plambeck doubled Jung-Goldberg home with the winner.
Plambeck finished with two of the Vikings' four hits. Milpitas also managed just four hits, all off starter Justin Hull. He pitched the first seven innings with Niko Lillios blanking the host Trojans in the eighth.
Milpitas jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third, but Paly answered with two runs in the fourth. Jung-Goldberg doubled, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a passed ball. Hull was hit by a pitch and Plambeck walked. When Alec Olmstead grounded into a double play, Hull scored from third.
Paly's victory was its fifth straight and seventh in the past eight games. The Vikings host Milpitas on Friday (4 p.m.) before visiting St. Francis on Saturday for a nonleague regular-season finale at 11 a.m.
Sacred Heart Prep, which started the season 0-7, won its third straight and its sixth in seven outings by holding off visiting Burlingame, 7-4.
The Gators (7-4, 10-13) are just a game back of co-leaders Carlmont and Terra Nova (both 8-3) with three games remaining. The top four teams in the division automatically qualify for the Central Coast Section playoffs.
John McGrory and Michael York each had two hits for the Gators with Schafer Kraemer and McGrory driving in a pair. Cole Spina tossed the first five innings to get the win. SHP will visit Burlingame on Friday before taking on Hillsdale (5-6) next week.
Hillsdale lost to last-place Menlo-Atherton (2-9, 5-18) on Wednesday, 5-0.
Sacred Heart Prep clinched no worse than a tie for first place in the PAL Bay Division following a 21-0 rout of host Woodside. The Gators improved to 8-0 (14-4 overall) with regular-season matches remaining next week against Menlo School and Menlo-Atherton.
Will Kremer, Fred Eder, Teddy Vought and Thomas Wine all scored three goals for SHP, with Kremer adding three assists. Frank Bell and Tommy Barnds each added two goals and two assists.
Palo Alto moved closer to wrapping up the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League regular-season title by defeating host Los Gatos, 10-9, on Wednesday night.
The Vikings (10-1, 13-4) got five goals from Maya Benatar and two each from Anna Seligson and Kaitlin Chiu, with Holly Tumminaro adding one. Goalkeeper Meredith Kinnaman made four saves in a very close game.
Paly has three matches remaining and holds a two-match lead over second-place Gunn (7-3, 9-7), which rolled to a 16-0 win over Pioneer behind four goals from Andrea Garcia-Milla and three from Yui Sasajima. Annie Vesey had eight draw controls for the Titans.
In nonleague action, host Menlo School avenged last year's loss to San Ramon Valley with a 10-9 overtime victory. The Knights (9-6) got the winning goal when freshman Bella Scolla fed junior Allison Liddle, who scored with just 1:29 gone in the extra period.
The Knights were leading 9-7 after Nikky P:rice scored her fourth goal with 8:38 remaining to play in regulation. San Ramon Valley (11-5) scored with 7:08 left and held Menlo scoreless the rest of the half while tying things at 9 with 3:08 to play.
Neither team could convert after that, setting up the extra period. Liddle finished with two goals and one assist to match the totals put up by teammate Indira Varma.
Castilleja continued its push toward a possible title in the WBAL Foothill Division with a 14-3 romp over host Mercy-Burlingame. The game was a makeup from a rained out game on March 22.
Elizabeth Pang had a season-high six RBI on just two hits, one of which was a home run. Castilleja teammate Kate Wang added two hits and two RBI as the Gators improved to 5-1 in league (11-7 overall). Tara Thakurta got the pitching win while limiting the Crusaders to just three hits.
The Sacred Heart Prep boys and girls wrapped up their respective dual-meet seasons in the WBAL with victories over visiting Menlo School. The SHP boys posted a 107-63 win while the girls splashed to a 116-54 triumph.
The SHP boys used their depth to overcome double wins by Menlo's John Reinstra (200 IM, 100 back) and Scott Little (50 free, 100 free). The Gators won the 200 free (1:32.56) and 400 free (3:29.94) relays and got individual wins from Jackson Enright (200 free), Nick Oliver (100 fly), CJ Box (500 free) and Walker Seymours (100 breast).
In the girls' meet, SHP won nine of 11 events, including all three relays, to remain unbeaten in WBAL duals this season. Addi Divall (50 free, 100 free) was the lone double winner for the Gators.
The WBAL Championships will be Saturday, May 7 at Sacred Heart Prep at 4 p.m.