The Palo Alto High School baseball team (20-4-1, 12-2) crushed the Los Altos Eagles (15-12-0, 8-6) 9-0 yesterday at home in the first round of the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League playoffs.
A strong performance by senior starting pitcher Justin Hull enabled the Vikings to beat the Eagles and take a 1-0 lead in the three-game series. Hull said that he was able to succeed thanks to an aggressive mentality on the mound.
“I felt pretty good,” Hull said. “I was ready. Playoffs are always fun. [I] just try to attack hitters.”
Paly struck first with an RBI single by senior right fielder Owen Plambeck, allowing senior third baseman Riley Schoeben to score.
The Vikings continued to stretch the lead in the second inning with a triple by senior Lawrence Han, scoring sophomore second baseman Max Jung-Goldberg and senior first baseman Alec Olmstead. Junior center fielder Ben Cleasby also singled, bringing Han home to make the score 4-0.
Paly piled on five more runs in the third inning, building up a cushion that allowed the Vikings cruise through the rest of the game.
Despite losing to Los Altos 1-0 earlier in the season, the Vikings felt prepared to take on the Eagles from the get-go, according to Hull.
“I think we were all pretty ready, pretty pumped up about this game, playoffs are obviously a little more high-stakes,” Hull said. “I think we were just confident going in, and we got to them early, and kind of cruised on from there.”
The team’s win puts them in a good position for their overall ranking at Leagues.
“If we win [Leagues], we have Finals next week, and then on to CCS,” Plambeck said. “[We] got them again on Thursday; you have to put them away with a sweep.”
Hull said that the Vikings will be able to win the second game, and thus the series, if they continue their performance from yesterday.
“Looking ahead to Thursday, hopefully we’ll do something that’s pretty similar: go out, score runs early, and keep doing it,” Hull said.
The Vikings will play game two against the Eagles at 4 p.m. on Thursday at home.