he Paly baseball team is looking to avenge last year’s disappointing first-round playoff loss with postseason success this season.
The Vikings have found their rhythm early in the season, advancing to a perfect 5-0 record in interleague play and a 10-3 overall record with key wins over teams such as Saratoga High School.
“So far, our season is going great,” said junior Nathan Willis. “We’re just hitting our stride, but have great team chemistry and a great environment.”
Despite losing several key players from las year, the team has been able to continue dominating interleague play, where the Vikings had achieved a 12-2 record last year. In addition, their 10-3 overall record is best in the De Anza League.
The the team also welcomed back key players such as junior Spencer Rojahn and senior Ethan Stern. Both players are returning from their fantastic basketball season, which unfortunately ended with a heartbreaking loss.
However, the only conference teams that the boys have played are Willcox High School, Milpitas High School and Saratoga High School, all teams with records below .500 (with records of 2-4, 0-5 and 2-3, respectively). They have yet to play Los Gatos High School, the team that handed the Vikes both of their losses last year in league play.
“The game will definitely be a tough,” Willis said. “Gatos has plenty of good pitchers, so we’re going to have to play small ball to counteract that.”
The team has been lead by junior Niko Lillios, who has landed 15 hits and racked up an impressive .469 batting average. Lillios is flexible, doubling as a baseman or as a pitcher, frequently closing games for the team.
“Niko has been awesome for our team this year,” Willis said. “He brings a good attitude every day both at practice and at games. He never complains and always brings positive energy to the field.”
The Vikings play crosstown rival Gunn High School at Gunn on April 8 in what is expected to be an exciting game. The Vikes beat Gunn 10-2 in last year’s match.
“Even though Gunn is in a league below us, I think that it will be great game,” Willis said. “Also, we’re friends with a lot of players on that team, so there we some friendly competition with them.”
Although the season is quite young, the Vikings have set their eyes on winning the Central Coast Sectionals (CCS) championship this year.
“We hope to win league and then CCS,” Willis said. “Anything else would be a disappointment.”