Palo Alto High School’s varsity baseball has had a rough start to their season with two losses. The boys lost by narrow margins to both St. Ignatius College Preparatory, losing 3-5, and reigning Central Coast Section (CCS) champions St. Francis High School, losing 4-5. The run differences in both games speaks to the team’s potential for a great season, illustrating their ability to hold their own even without homefield advantage.

Junior Isaac Kaasevich attributes the St. Ignatius loss to silly mistakes and missed opportunities.

“We had two chances [to score] with the bases loaded and one out and didn’t get a run either time,” Kaasevich said.

Paly also made five errors in the game, which gave St. Ignatius the edge they needed to win. Kaasevich compares Paly’s performance against St. Ignatius with their performance against St. Francis, thinking the Vikings should have beaten St. Ignatius but are not overly disappointed with the St. Francis game.

“[The St. Francis game] was not a loss that we should hang our heads about,” Kaasevich said.

Junior Walker Ritchie weighed in on Paly’s performance against St. Francis, one of the best teams in California.

“We played a hard fought game and showed a lot of mental toughness as a team,” Ritchie said.

Mental toughness is often what sets apart a good team from a great team in baseball and could be the difference between a win and a loss.

The Vikings have more challenging games ahead as they face Junipero Serra High School, last year’s CCS playoffs runner-up, before the league schedule begins against Saratoga. Kasevich is confident in coach Erick Raich and his coaching abilities.

“Coach Raich does a great job preparing us to play guys who are supposedly better than us,” Kasevich said. “I think it all comes down to executing in the games.”

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