Preview: Baseball reaching for second seed


Senior third baseman Russ Filter cheers on his pitcher in an away game against Mountain View March 24th. According to Filter, the team needs to focus for the final stretch of the season. “Baseball is a game where it can be different every day,” Filter said. “We just need to stick to our plan and come away with two more.” (Photo: Celeste Bates)

Christopher Choi and Shreyas Shashi

Following five consecutive wins, the Palo Alto High School varsity baseball team (5-3) will play against the Los Altos Eagles (6-2) twice this week for a chance at the second seed in the De Anza League.

The Vikings will be playing for better playoff positioning in two games this week, taking place 4 p.m. Wednesday at home and 4 p.m. Friday at Los Altos. Sitting one game behind the Eagles, the team needs to win both of this week’s games to become the league’s second seed and put itself into serious contention for the approaching league tournament and CCS playoffs. 

According to senior catcher and third baseman Russ Filter, the Vikings are well aware of the stakes as the team plays through the regular season’s remaining games. 

“We are a few games back in [the De Anza] league, so we have to treat every game from now on as a must-win,” Filter said.

The Vikings will be missing five key starters for this week’s games, including junior shortstop Charlie Bates and senior outfielder Sal Meehan. According to Filter, the team is in a position where others have to step up. 

“We have a lot of guys hurt, so everyone needs to play their part,” Filter said. 

According to junior pitcher Julian Davis, the team’s highest priorities going into these games are following the game plan and staying mentally locked in.

“We are looking to get a great team win and come into the game offensively strong,” Davis said. “The goal is to stay focused, and follow our game plan.”

Davis said the recent winning streak has been a strong boost to the team’s mentality down the stretch. 

“Our last two wins have been really great in bringing our confidence as a team back,” Davis said. “We’re looking to use that to help us power through the rest of the season and win [the De Anza] league.” 

According to Filter, the Vikings are going into this week’s games with an emphasis on staying consistent and focused.

“The better team doesn’t always win, and the hotter team doesn’t always win,” Filter said. “I don’t necessarily think any momentum is going to be used. The team goal is just to win. Simple as that.”