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April 08, 2005

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Palo Alto Online

Publication Date: Friday, April 08, 2005

Palo Alto, Gunn are on their way Palo Alto, Gunn are on their way (April 08, 2005)

Both remain in contention for postseason berths with a third of the league season in the books

by Keith Peters

The Palo Alto and Gunn baseball teams have 12 games remaining on their league schedules and only one thing is for sure at this point - the Vikings and Titans won't be knocking each other out of the postseason.

With Palo Alto playing in the SCVAL De Anza Division and Gunn competing in the El Camino Division, both teams have good chances of reaching the Central Coast Section playoffs this season.

The Vikings (4-2, 8-6) are battling Los Gatos, Wilcox and Mountain View (among others) for one of three automatic CCS berths. The Titans (5-1, 6-3) also are in a lofty position, facing the challenges of Homestead and Santa Clara for the division's lone automatic postseason berth.

Gunn heads into the weekend holding a half-game lead over Homestead (5-2) and a full game advantage over Santa Clara (4-2), which will host the Titans on Saturday at Washington Park at 7 p.m.

While Homestead is waiting on April 19, Gunn coach Tim Thompson sees Santa Clara as a bigger challenge.

"I still consider the games with Santa Clara to be more vital than Homestead," Thompson said. "They both have two losses, but Santa Clara has much better talent and pitching."

Gunn and Santa Clara were scheduled to meet for the first time on March 22, but that game was rained out and hasn't been rescheduled yet. Thus, neither team has much to go on other than perhaps this week's results.

For Gunn, its most recent victory was a good one. The Titans handed host Saratoga a 4-0 defeat as Tucker Laurence and Colin Felch combined on a six-hitter. Laurence struck out four in five innings and was aided by double plays in the third and fourth. Felch pitched the final two innings, striking out three.

Brent Gardiner led off the top of the third with a solo homer and finished with three hits, as did Mike Myers. Ryan McDermott and Laurence added a pair of hits as Saratoga fell to 5-5 in league play.

Gunn will host St. Lawrence in a nonleague makeup game Monday at 3:30 p.m., host Lynbrook on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. and then visit Fremont, the only division team to beat the Titans, next Thursday.

Palo Alto also has a busy schedule over the new few weeks, one that could give Vikings' coach Pete Colombo a good idea where his team fits in the league race.

Paly plays host to first-place Los Gatos today (weather permitting) at 3:30 p.m. The teams met on March 16th with the Wildcats pulling out a 4-1 victory.

The Vikings will visit Milpitas on Wednesday and then host Wilcox on April 15. Wilcox beat Paly in the CCS Division I championship game last spring.

Palo Alto goes into today's showdown with a three-game winning streak. The Vikings beat host Cupertino on Monday, 4-1, then romped past host Los Altos on Wednesday, 10-1.

Paly got two complete games this week from senior Karl Laughton and junior Andrew White. Laughton limited Cupertino to five hits while White held Los Altos to six.

Senior John Ginanni produced a bases-loaded double to spark Monday's victory and senior Joey Cote slammed a three-run homer against Los Altos. Kevin Briggs added a triple while Ginanni contributed a pair of doubles. Cote and catcher Nathan Ford each drove in three runs while Ginanni had two RBI.

In the Private Schools Athletic League, Sacred Heart Prep (1-0, 3-6) opened league play with a 13-2 romp over visiting Valley Christian-Dublin on Tuesday. Junior Pat Coffey pitched 4 1/3 innings, allowing no earned runs, and aided his cause with a towering two-run homer. Tom Pierson doubled home a pair of runs and Kevin Dos Remedios pitched two scoreless innings of relief.

In the Peninsula Athletic League, Menlo-Atherton (0-3, 4-11) met in interleague play and the Bearcats jumped out early and held on for an 8-5 victory.

Sophomore Calvin Johnson gave M-A a 1-0 in the top of the second with a double, which produced the first of his two RBI on the day. San Mateo, however, rallied for seven runs in the bottom of the inning.

Menlo-Atherton senior Domenic Di Ricco continued his torrid hitting with a single and a triple. The Bears welcomed back shortstop Daniel Johnston, who had been out with an injury. M-A also played without senior captain David Klein, who's expected to be ready for today's game against Capuchino at Flood Park at 3:15 p.m.

In another PAL interdivision game, Menlo gave up 17 runs in the third inning and suffered a 19-2 loss to host Carlmont on Wednesday.

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