Riding a 10-game winning streak to end the season, the baseball team secured the top seed and a bye going into Santa Clara Valley Athletic League (SCVAL) playoffs. The team then defeated both Homestead and Los Gatos to win the SCVAL championship.
Despite the team’s solid record of 20-6 at the conclusion of the season, the Vikings found themselves in a predicament coming out of spring break with a 10-6 record.
Ever since, however, the Vikings have roared back without a loss, thrashing Milpitas and storming back from a deficit against Cupertino in their senior night game.
However, what remained possibly the biggest challenge of the year was not getting booted from the playoffs quickly like they had in years past.
According to junior Hyunwoo Roh, who got pulled up to the varsity squad as a freshman, the team prioritized winning the first game before getting too excited about facing Los Gatos.
“Oh, it was incredibly important to win the first one,” Roh said. “We [had] this expectation that we were going to play Los Gatos in the championship game, but Homestead [had]some great players and taking them lightly and underestimating them would [have gotten] us eliminated.”
Roh credits much of the team’s end of season success to its leaders for taking the reins.
“After our shaky and slow start in the beginning, the seniors started taking charge and leading the team,” Roh said. “We always had the talent and potential, but couldn’t execute everything because of the lack of leadership and, I guess, some timidness. And each game there’s always someone different that makes a huge contribution, and that makes us so good and at the head of our pack. We have the core senior leaders — Niko [Lillios], Max [Jung-Goldberg] and Nathan [Willis].”
Going into SCVALs, Roh said that the seniors, as well as the coaches, stressed the importance of the entire team being in control and playing comfortably in order to advance to Central Coast Section (CCS) playoffs.
Roh said, “We just do what we do best, which is to simplify things.”