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Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - March 22, 2013

Palo Alto baseball on a roll

Vikings win their sixth straight while staying tied for first in division

by Keith Peters

After having six different pitchers take the mound in Monday's nonleague baseball win at Menlo School, Palo Alto coach Erick Raich could have paraded the same six on Wednesday against host Gunn.

Raich, however, went with only one and that was plenty as senior Rohit Ramkumar limited the Titans to seven hits in a 6-1 victory in SCVAL De Anza Division action.

Ramkumar (5-0) needed only 75 pitches as the Vikings (9-4 overall) improved to 4-1 and remained tied with Wilcox for first place, a game ahead of Los Altos, Homestead and Saratoga. Ramkumar's seven-inning complete game featured no walks. The win was Paly's sixth straight.

Bowen Gerould, James Foug and Jack Cleasby all had two hits for Paly while Michael Strong drove in two runs. The Vikings got the winning run in the second on a walk by Rowen Thompson, a walk by Austin Kron and a single by Sean Harvey.

The Vikings put the game away in the fifth as Gerould, Foug and Strong all singled and Austin Poore doubled as Paly grabbed a 4-0 lead before Gunn got its only run in the bottom of the fifth.

Palo Alto will host Gunn on Friday to complete the season series at 3:30 p.m. The Vikings will play an important series with Los Altos next week while tuning up for their showdowns with Wilcox on April 17 and 19.

On Monday, Palo Alto pounded out 18 hits in a 13-5 nonleague win over host Menlo. Thompson led the Vikings with four hits while Isaac Feldstein had three RBI, giving him 10 in his past four games.

In PAL Bay Division action, junior Erik Amundson tossed a five-hit complete game and sophomore Matt McGarry lined a two-run, sixth-inning single as host Menlo-Atherton edged Burlingame, 3-2, in an opener for both teams on Wednesday. The victory improved M-A's record to 6-3 overall, while Burlingame fell to 7-2.

Burlingame starting pitcher Tommy Caulfield carried a no-hitter and a 2-1 lead into the bottom of the sixth inning. After yielding a leadoff walk to M-A catcher Charles Grose and retiring shortstop Alex Aguiar on a liner to left, the Burlingame lefthander surrendered his first hit -- a low line drive up the middle by junior first baseman Brett Moriarty on an 0-2 fastball.

Courtesy runner Colin Martell and Moriarty then moved into scoring position on designated hitter AJ Lemons' groundout, and McGarry smashed an 0-1 fastball to left, driving in two runs for a 3-2 M-A lead.

Amundson struck out the first two Burlingame hitters in the top of the seventh, but then hit leadoff hitter Michael Franco with a pitch and surrendered an infield single when Vince Arobio's hard groundball struck an umpire. Amundson ended the threat by striking out Burlingame's No. 3 hitter, Grant Goodman, on a 3-2 curveball.

Amundson improved his season record to 2-1 with the victory, striking out six and walking just two batters while throwing 102 pitches over seven innings.

Amundson took a no-hitter of his own into the top of the fifth inning, but then surrendered a double to Panther second baseman Phil Caulfield and an infield single to the next batter when M-A failed to cover first base on a sacrifice bunt attempt. Burlingame then tied the game on an RBI groundout by catcher Keaton Eichman.

The Panthers took a 2-1 lead in the top of the sixth, but that lead was short-lived as the Bears rallied for two runs in the bottom of the sixth to grab a share of first place in the PAL Bay Division. M-A visits Burlingame on Friday at 7 p.m.

Boys' golf

Menlo School remained perfect (3-0) in the West Bay Athletic League following a 191-227 win over Crystal Springs at Palo Alto Municipal on Wednesday.

Menlo senior Andrew Buchanan repeated as medalist by shooting a 5-under 31. Riley Burgess shot an even-par 36 while fellow juniors Jordan Stone and Carter Burgess each carded a 41. Menlo's freshman pairing of Jeff Herr and William Hsieh both shot 42.

The match was played in overcast and windy conditions at the Palo Alto Muni front nine. Buchanan carded birdies on holes 3, 4, 5, 8 and 9. On the 514-yard, par-5 ninth hole, Buchanan was lying two in the rough behind the green. His chip tracked right to the cup, but stopped three inches from the hole for a tap-in birdie.

Burgess was foiled in his attempt to post an under-par round when his eight-foot birdie putt on 9 rolled about a foot past the hole. He drained the comeback putt to post his first even-par score in WBAL play. It was one of the few putts Riley missed all day.

Burgess sank a putt of 15 feet for birdie on the par-5 first hole and then found himself lying four on the green of the par-4 second hole with a 20 foot putt to save bogey. He drained that. In the telling putting statistic of total feet of putts made, Riley totaled 53 feet.

Stone shot a solid 41 after a tough bogey and double bogey on the first two holes. Stone righted himself with pars on the next two holes and finished strong by shooting par on holes 7, 8 and 9. Burgess also started off slowly with a double on the first hole. Carter went on to make par on five of the next eight holes.

On Monday, Sacred Heart Prep traveled to Marin County for the Wildcat Invitational hosted by Marin Catholic. The Gators finished in fifth place in the 23- team field. Gators' junior Bradley Knox and sophomore Derek Ackerman each recorded 4-over- par rounds of 75 to lead the team.

Stanford-bound Maverick McNealy from Harker was the low individual with a 5-under-par 66. Menlo finished 10th as Hsieh shot 77 while Buchanan and SHP's Willy Lamb tied for 26th with 78s.

Boys' lacrosse

Sacred Heart Prep moved into contention for first place in the SCVAL with a 14-8 victory over host Menlo School on Wednesday. The Gators (3-1, 4-3) were led by freshman Andrew Daschbach's five goals and one assist while Frankie Hattler contributed five assists and two goals.

Sean Mayle and Brian White each had two goals plus an assist and Paul Vetter also scored twice. Goalie Austin Appleton had 14 saves while helping drop the Knights to 1-2 in league (1-4 overall).

SHP opened the week with a big 19-11 romp over host Palo Alto as Noah Kawasaki scored four goals and added three assists.

Girls' lacrosse

Palo Alto extended its winning streak to seven on rainy Tuesday evening while beating visiting Gunn, 15-8. Nina Kelty scored four goals and added three assists to pace the Vikings while fellow senior Charlotte Biffar finished with four goals and one assist. Gunn got four goals from Victoria Nguyen.

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