Baseball seeks opening win in SCVAL playoffs against Los Altos

    Junior shortstop Ethan Stern prepares to place a tag on an incoming Los Gatos runner. The Vikings lost to the Wildcats, 7-4, during a league game in April. Photo by Cooper Lou.

    Junior shortstop Ethan Stern prepares to place a tag on an incoming Los Gatos base runner. The Vikings lost to the Wildcats, 7-4, during a league game in April. Photo by Cooper Lou.

    The Palo Alto High School baseball team (19-4-1, 12-2) looks to defeat Los Altos High School (15-11, 8-6) in the Vikings’ first Santa Clara Valley Athletic League playoff game at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at Paly.

    Junior pitcher Ryan Chang said the team had a strong regular season and the Vikings are confident about their chances in the playoffs, despite knowing that the competition is strong.

    “It was a really successful regular season,” Chang said. “We [Palo Alto] feel pretty confident going into playoffs, but we know there is a lot of good competition out there so we need to stay focused.”

    The Vikings finished in second place in the De Anza league during the regular season with just two league losses, and look to make a statement in the team’s first playoff matchup with a full and healthy roster. The couple league losses that the Vikings recorded were decided by a couple of runs.

    Palo Alto defeated the Eagles both times during the regular season with by scores of 13-4 and 1-0.

    The team will compete for a Central Coast Section playoff berth through multiple games, throughout the week, including Tuesday’s game.

    The starting pitcher for the Vikings will be senior Justin Hull. According to Max Preps, “America’s source for high school sports”, Hull leads the league in strikeouts (43) and is ranked second in the ERA (earned run average) category with an ERA of 0.89.

    Sophomore pitcher Jeremy Akioka said the Vikings have a good chance at defeating the Eagles if the team sticks to its game plan.

    “Los Altos is a good team but we should beat them if we come out swinging and throwing strikes,” Akioka said.

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