Preview: Baseball to take on Los Altos on senior night

Isabella Marcus, Author

Senior center fielder Ben Cleasby gets ready to hit against Homestead High School in a De Anza League matchup. Photo by: David Hickey
Senior center fielder Ben Cleasby takes an at bat against Homestead High School in a De Anza League matchup. Cleasby had one hit and two RBI’s against Los Altos on Wednesday. Photo by David Hickey.

The Palo Alto High School baseball team (20-4, 12-1) will play its last De Anza League game of the season against the Los Altos Eagles (15-9-1, 6-7) on “senior night” at 4 p.m. this Friday at Paly.

Paly took on fourth-ranked DAL opponent Los Altos away from home on Wednesday, crushing the Eagles 11-2.

The Vikings offense was again led by junior second baseman Max Jung-Goldberg, junior third baseman Niko Lillios and senior shortstop Ethan Stern.

Jung-Goldberg had four hits and a RBI double, Lillios had three hits and Stern led the team with three RBI’s.

Junior pitcher Spencer Rojahn pitched five innings for the Vikings and took a pitching win with one strikeout, and a 2.80 ERA.

This Friday, the Vikings will honor six seniors on a junior-dominated roster.

Among these seniors is powerhouse center fielder Ben Cleasby.

Cleasby is one of few to have played on varsity all four years of his high school baseball career.

“I am both very excited and also worried about it [the game],” Cleasby said. “It will be my last [league] baseball game ever played at home and that alone in itself is scary for me because I have been playing baseball my whole life and it is coming to an end.”

According to Cleasby, the team wants to push themselves to go farther than previous seasons.

“We need to keep working hard,” Cleasby said. “Every practice we have been pushing ourselves more and more to do better. We need to keep doing that and being ourselves and not lose sight of that. We really want to win the championship for league, so we sweep the league, not only in league record but also in playoffs. We want to make the semi-finals and championship in CCS. If we have ever had a group of guys that can do it, it is definitely this year.”

Senior Aron Ecoff will be pitching for the Vikings this Friday. Ecoff leads the team with eight pitching wins in 11 appearances and 27 strikeouts.

According to Ecoff, as the projected one seed in the CCS open division, the team cannot let up.

“After clinching league, our goal as a team is to play at the San Jose Municipal Stadium after advancing to the finals in CCS,” Ecoff said. “This would be huge considering we’ve been knocked out of the first round two years in a row, and we feel that we are beyond ready this year. Clinching a league title this early is unique to this program, so we know that there is something special within our group.”

Los Altos will be led by six-foot-five-inch junior pitcher Alex Reelfs who has 56 strikeouts on the season, with 6 pitching wins.

The Vikings will also face the St. Francis Lancers (14-8, 7-4) in its last regular season non-league game of the year, at 12 p.m. this Saturday at Paly.