Baseball squeaks by Tracy, 3-1

Aaron Chum and Edward Mei

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The Palo Alto High School baseball team (3-1-0) defeated the Tracy High School Bulldogs (1-2-0) today, 3-1, at home.

The Vikings got off to a fast start, scoring a run in the first inning. Senior outfielder B.J. Boyd led the charge with a stolen base, followed by a run off a Bulldog error.

The Bulldogs would live up to their names as their batters proved to be a feisty challenge for senior pitcher Ben Sneider throughout the second and third innings. In the third inning alone, Sneider allowed two singles and one home run, which tied the score up at one apiece.

Yet the offense belonged to Boyd, as he fired up the Viking dugout again with a long double out to center field and another stolen base. Then, senior shortstop Austin Braff recorded an RBI to send Boyd back to home plate. After consecutive steals that left Braff at third base, senior outfielder John Dickerson would bring him home with a single.

The two runs in the bottom of the third inning by the Vikings would cap the scoring, as the pitchers on both teams prevented any more runners from crossing home plate.

From there, Sneider’s pitching, highlighted by his five strike-outs and zero walks, suffocated the Bulldog batters the rest of the game. The rest of the Viking defense quickly followed suit, and the Bulldogs’ offense never barked the rest of the game.

Head coach Erick Raich praised Sneider’s performance.

“Great outing,” Raich said. “I mean, he [Sneider] didn’t walk one guy. When you don’t walk guys at this level, you’re going to be very successful. He got all three pitches over and he was his typical bulldog self.”

Raich commended his team’s overall effort against the Bulldogs.

“Our short game bunts have been very good,” Raich said. “Defensively it was great. It was just all around a great game. It’s what you want to preach as a coach. Throw strikes, play catch, and have good discipline at bats.”

The Vikings’ next game will be against the Junipero Serra Padres (3-0-0) at 3:30 p.m. this Saturday, at Serra.

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