Palo Alto junior second baseman Xavier Esquer knows about working the count, getting on base and playing the field.
He became an expert on power hitting Monday.
Esquer hit two home runs in the bottom of the first inning, driving in four runs, and setting the tone for Paly’s 10-4 nonleague victory over visiting Serra, which lost for the first time this season.
“I have one home run ever in a game coming into the season,” Esquer said.
He utilized his speed for an inside-the-park home run leading off the game for the Vikings (6-2), hitting the ball into the furthest part of the field in right-center field (curved similarly as triples alley at Oracle Park).
Esquer was able to slow into his home run trot the next time around, drilling a line drive over the left field fence to plate three runs.
In all, the first eight Paly hitters reached base and seven of them scored. Esquer scored twice to give the Vikings an early 8-0 advantage.
“If I see a pitch I like, I’m going to jump on it,” Esquer said. “But it’s just the mentality of getting the next guy up. Today was fun.”
His father, current Stanford baseball coach David Esquer, hit one home run as a collegiate player and zero during his minor league years in the Baltimore Orioles organization.
The victory over a quality baseball program like Serra also boosted Paly’s confidence after losing games to Valley Christian and Los Gatos.
“We’ve taken a couple of rough losses and this restores our confidence, playing a good team like Serra,” Esquer said. “There’s nothing better.”
After Esquer’s first at bat, it became a parade of hits for the Vikings. Zander Darby, Aidan Berger and Henry Bolte followed with singles, producing a run. Hayden Jung-Goldberg was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Ritter Amsbaugh walked to force in another run.
Ben Wingard and Tommy Hall followed with RBI singles and Serra changed pitchers. After a 1-2-3 double play, Esquer ended the scoring with his three-rum bomb.
Paly scored its final runs in the fourth, one manufactured and one fully charged. Darby walked, stole second, went to third on a groundout and then scored on a passed ball. Two pitches later, Jung-Goldberg deposited a ball on the other side of the right field fence.
Ryan Harvey worked the first 5 1/3 innings for the victory. He gave up four runs, three earned, on nine hits. He struck out five and walked four. Callum Olsen took over for the final four outs.
Berger and Hall each had two hits for the Vikings, who host Los Altos in the SCVAL De Anza Division opener Wednesday.
Hall easily has the most interesting walk-up music in high school, using Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze” to get pumped. What makes it so interesting? That’s a discussion for some other time.
at M-A 16, Homestead 0
Nate Baxter, Colin Galles and Will Ryan combined to throw a two-hitter in M-A’s win over visiting Homestead on Monday.
Baxter struck out eight, walked one and did not allow a hit in his four innings. Galles and Ryan combined for five strikeouts without a walk.
Griffin Williams and Joe Meyer each drove in three runs for the Bears (6-5), who have won three straight heading into their PAL Ocean Division opener Tuesday at El Camino in South San Francisco.
M-A broke a scoreless tie with four runs in the bottom of the third. John Quinlan and Max Coupe each singled and Tommy Eisenstat walked to load the bases. Williams and Galles each followed with a two-run single.
Coupe singled home two runs in the fifth, and Meyer, pinch hitting for Williams, tripled with the bases loaded in the sixth.
Ben Cohen and James Roberts each added two hits and drove in a run. Rowen Barnes and Ethan Bergan also drove in runs.