The race, and chase, in the SCVAL De Anza Division baseball race is over for Palo Alto. The Vikings have to settle for second place behind Los Gatos, despite a 5-2 victory over visiting Milpitas on Friday.
The Vikings finished the regular season 12-2 in league and 19-3-1 overall before visiting St. Francis on Saturday in a final tuneup before next week's De Anza Division playoffs.
Paly celebrated Senior Day against Milpitas as Lawrence Han had a pair of hits and Ben Cleaby drove in a pair to support Alec Olmstead's pitching. Olmstead allowed two earned runs, four hits and four walks while striking out five over six innings of work.
Palo Alto closer Riley Schoeben put away the final three outs to record the save.
The top of the first saw Milpitas take an early lead, 1-0. The Vikings answered with three runs in the second. With one out, Lawrence Han walked, Albert Han doubled him to third and Max Jung-Goldberg walked to load the bases. The next three batters -- Ethan Stern, Cleasby and Justin Hull -- all drew walks to bring in two of the three runs. Jung-Goldberg scored on a passed ball.
Paly scored two more in the fourth, which saw a sacrifice fly bring home Jung-Goldberg to start the scoring. That was followed up by Hull's double, bringing home Stern.
In the PAL Bay Division, Sacred Heart Prep lost a chance to move into a tie for second place after dropping a 5-2 decision to host Burlingame. A victory would have given the Gators an 8-4 record, tying them with Carlmont -- which fell to first-place Terra Nova (9-3).
Instead, SHP is alone in the third at 7-5 (10-14 overall) with Sequoia fourth at 6-6 with two regular-season games remaining.
SHP senior Andrew Daschbach had a double among his three hits with Jack Molumphy adding two. The Gators out-hit the Panthers, 7-4, but also committed three errors to Burlingame's one.
Palo Alto clinched no worse than a tie for the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League title with a 13-0 victory over visiting Los Altos on Friday night. The Vikings improved to 11-1 in league and 14-4 overall and can win the crown outright with a win over host Saratoga on Wednesday.
Paly got goals from Mikayla Spaizman (2), Maya Benatar (2), Abby Ramsey (2), Mattie Orloff, Holly Tumminaro, Anna Seligson, Emily Wood, Charlotte Cheng, Ellen Goncher and Meredith Kinnaman.
Paly's title-clinching had to wait because second-place Gunn defeated host Mountain View, 8-4. The Titans (8-3, 10-7) got three goals from Annie Vesey, two from Andrea Garcia-Milla and one each from Jenny Chen, Yui Sasajima and Lucy Augustine.
In the West Bay Athletic League (Foothill Division), senior Libby Muir scored five goals as the Gators remained undefeated in league with a 15-0 romp over visiting Sequoia on Friday. The Gators (7-0, 13-4) grabbed an 11-0 halftime lead and coasted as Juliana Clark and Emma Johnson added three goals each and Allison Carter had two. Pippa Thompson and Kailey Wachhorst added solo tallies.
At El Camino Park, Menlo School remained a game back of SHP following a 15-9 victory over host Castilleja in WBAL Foothill Division action. The Knights improved to 6-1 in league (10-6 overall) and will meet SHP on May 10 in a showdown for the regular-season title.
Castilleja (3-4, 8-6) took an early 3-0 lead against Menlo, but couldn't hold on. The Gators were within 7-5 at halftime and 11-8 midway through the second half before the Knights put the game out of reach with four late goals.
Freshman Taylor DeGroff led Castilleja with five goals and four draw controls. Senior Ellie Chen scored twice and senior Celeste Woloshyn and freshman Lauren Traum added a goal apiece. Goalie Anika Tse had nine saves.
For Menlo, Nikky Price led the way with five goals, Allison Liddle had three while Indie Varma, Charlotte Swisher, and Sophie Scola added two each. Goalie Alena Stern had seven saves.
Price, the William & Mary-bound senior, finished off a 3-0 week for Menlo with 18 points on 15 goals and three assists.