Finishing the regular season by winning six of its final seven games should be enough momentum to carry the Palo Alto baseball team into the SCVAL De Anza Division playoffs.
The Vikings (19-4-1), who finished second in the division to first-place Los Gatos, will start the postseason this week by hosting third-place Los Altos on Tuesday at 4 p.m. The best-of-three series switches to the Eagles' field Thursday with a third game, if needed, back at Paly on Friday at 4 p.m.
The series will give Paly a shot at avenging a loss to Los Altos that knocked the Vikings out of first place earlier this season.
Palo Alto heads into the playoffs coming off a 10-3 nonleague loss to host St. Francis on Saturday. The setback wasn't all that discouraging.
"It was good for the boys to be in that environment," Paly coach Pete Fukuhara said of the perennial power Lancers. "They are a good team and we know the road (in the CCS Open Division playoffs) will go through them. I believe in our ball club and playing tough teams will help us get better."
Paly had eight hits and committed no errors, but the Lancers had too much offense as RJ Teijeiro had three hits and four RBI to lead the way.
Owen Plambeck had three hits, including a double, with Justin Hull adding two hits for Paly.
One run in the top of the fourth helped the Vikings close their deficit to 2-1. An RBI single by Alec Olmstead fueled the brief comeback. Hull had an RBI single in the top of the fifth to get Paly to within 5-2.
Also Saturday, host Gunn finished off a 2-1 week with a 6-5 walk-off nonleague win in nine innings over Prospect.
Gunn narrowed a 4-1 deficit at the end of the second inning by scoring two in the bottom of the third and then tied the game in the fourth at 5.
The game stayed tied over the next four innings with Gunn pitchers Leland Pama and Shuta Nozawa shutting out Prospect over the final five frames. Nozawa got the win.
The winning run was scored by shortstop David Clarke, who took home on a wild pitch, after singling to start the inning.
The Gunn offense pounded out 12 hits. Clarke led the team with three hits, including a triple and double, and three runs scored. David Schwardt and Josh Radin had 2 single each.
Palo Alto celebrated Senior Day and finished off a three-win week by defeating visiting St. Francis, 13-5, on Saturday. The Vikings (11-4) grabbed a 5-1 lead in the first half and rolled from there.
Senior Matthew Seligson had six goals plus two assists, freshman Patrick McIntosh added three goals plus two assists and senior Owen Dulik finished with two goals and one assist. Senior
Charlie Stephenson won 11 of 18 face offs and senior goalie Quintin Valenti came up with 13 saves.
Track and field
Menlo School sophomore Robert Miranda ran himself into the history book at the Sacramento Meet of Champions on Saturday as he ran the 1,600 in 4:21.98, breaking a school record that stood for more than 40 years.
The previous best was held by Tom Schreck, who ran the 1,600 in 4:22.14 in 1975. Miranda placed 13th and was the lone underclassman invited to compete in the event.