The Palo Alto High Schoolbaseball team looks to bounce back after it suffered its first loss to Serra High School on March 8. A combination of poor weather conditions and an off day of team chemistry lead to a bitter loss of 6-1.
Even though there were some inevitable factors set against the team, junior Michael Champagne looks back on the loss with regret.
“We played seven innings before the game was called due to no more sunlight,” Champagne said. “We absolutely should have won that game [against Serra]; we’re better than them no question. We didn’t get the win because we failed to execute offensively when the chips were down.”
Even though this first loss was hard on the team members, they changed their mindsets to claim victory against Cupertino High School with a score of 8-0 on March 11.
Junior Ben Cleasby accredits the strong win to the team’s positive attitude to seek redemption from the previous game.
“We were pissed off, we all knew we had it in us to beat them and play at their level,” Cleasby said. “Our hitting was not doing well and we showed how bad we wanted to come back from it in the Cupertino game.”
Looking forward, the team has high hopes after assessing the raw talent on the roster. The sophomores on the team show great potential and bring a fresh attitude to the team.
“We are looking real good, we have a solid lineup 1-9 and our pitching staff is incredible,” Champagne said. “[Sophomores] Jake Varner, Niko Lillios, Jeremy Akioka and Max Jung-Goldberg are either pitching frequently and successfully or hitting and playing great defense.”
Most of the baseball team is made up of sophomores and juniors who will continue to play next year, but the seniors are just as important. Senior captain Riley Schoeben values not only the sophomores, but the experienced upperclassmen as well.
“We’re off to a great start,” Schoeben said. “We have lots of experienced seniors and a young, talented pitching staff. We won league last year so we have similar expectations for this year but we also want to make a run at a [Central Coast Section] championship and we feel we have the team to do so.”
As the team continues to maintain a successful record (which includes winning first in the League), Schoeben plans on keeping the same successful mentality. While the team may have a larger amount of underclassmen than other sports in the spring season, the team chemistry is just as strong.
Through playing in club baseball to being friends off the field, the team creates a strong bond that leads to fewer mistakes.
“Our team chemistry is amazing, there’s really no weak links and we have known and played with each other for a long time,” Cleasby said.
The team has made few errors in the past games even after dealing with the unfortunate weather, and Schoeben hopes to exemplify a victorious mindset through the remainder of the season.
“We have to consistently execute in all areas of the game, and make sure that when crunch time comes we don’t flinch at the opportunity to win the game,” Schoeben said.