Baseball strikes first against Los Altos in first game of SCVAL Finals

Juliana Moraes-Liu, Author


Shortstop Austin Braff rounds third base in Paly’s playoff game against Lost Altos High School Tuesday.

– Matt Ersted

The Palo Alto High School baseball team (24-4-0) ran past the Los Alto Eagles (19-8-0), 6-2, today at Paly, in the first game of a best-of-three series in the SCVAL De Anza Division finals.

In a heated matchup between the one and two seeds with control of the series on the line, the Vikings came ready to play. Junior pitcher Rohit Ramkumar dominated the mound for five innings with two strikeouts while only allowing two hits and one run. Head coach Erick Raich praised Ramkumar on his solid performance.

“I mean, what can I say, it was his [Rohit’s] first start of the season, and he pitched an amazing game,” Raich said. “He was firm on the mound, and whenever we needed him, he made big plays.”

Ramkumar was backed by an outstanding defense led by senior thrid baseman Alec Wong, senior shortstop Ozzy Braff and senior seond baseman Jack Witte, who commited no errors and suffocated the Eagles with double plays and 6-3 outs left and right.

The Vikings jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, capitalizing on two of the Eagles’ errors. The Vikings were unable to put the game away, however, as the Eagles bombed a home run deep into right field in the top of the fourth inning, cutting the lead to 2-1.

The comeback was cut short as Paly scored a barrage of runs in the bottom of the fifth to control the game for good. A frenzy of at-bats started with senior catcher Christian Lonsky at the plate and included a run off of a balk, a run off of an infield error and a run off of an overthrown ball at home. The Vikings pushed the lead up to 5-1 and never looked back.

Senior outfielder Justin Grey scored once more for the Vikings in the bottom of the fifth, and Eagles rounded out the scoring with another home run in the top of the seventh. Senior pitcher Arun Varma closed out the game for the Vikings, who are now up 1-0 in this series against the Eagles.

The Vikings can close out the series and capture their third straight SCVAL De Anza Division title if they defeat the Eagles in their next matchup. The next game will be held at 3:30 p.m. this Thursday at Los Altos High School. According to Raich, senior pitcher Kevin Kannappan will start off on the mound for the Vikings.