After having nowhere to go but up two years ago, the Mountain View High baseball team has reached new heights this season.
The Spartans have an opportunity this week to win their first Santa Clara Valley Athletic League De Anza Division championship. Seeded third in the league playoffs, Mountain View (19-9-1 overall) swept No. 2 Los Gatos (18-10-1) in last week’s opening-round series and now takes on top seed Palo Alto (23-6) in the best-of-three finals.
“The boys have risen above and believe in a system that has given them confidence to compete,” said Kris Mims, who took over as coach midway through a 2015 season in which Mountain View finished last in the De Anza and 5-24-1 overall. “(They’re) a great group of boys.”
The Spartans, who last year won the SCVAL’s lower El Camino Division, were set to open the finals Tuesday at Palo Alto and host Thursday’s second game at 4 p.m. A third game, if necessary, is slated 4 p.m. Friday at Paly.
After edging Los Gatos 5-4 to open the league playoffs May 2, Mountain View whipped the Wildcats 7-0 Thursday.
Grant Gambetta notched two hits and four RBIs in the first game. Tristan Silveira and Aran Cox each produced three hits in the second contest, while winning pitcher James Hoyt threw a complete-game five-hitter.
Los Altos, seeded fifth and playing in the lower bracket of the De Anza Division playoffs, swept Milpitas in the opening round.
The Eagles followed a 5-1 win May 3 with a 7-3 victory Friday in which Alex Reelfs pitched a complete game. Colin Homan belted a three-run homer for Los Altos (17-10-1) and Keenan Hanley tripled.
The Eagles are scheduled to visit Los Gatos 4 p.m. today to close out the league playoffs.
After a 2-1 week, Pinewood is 9-2 in the Private Schools Athletic League and tied for first place.
The Panthers opened the week by crushing Kehillah Jewish 23-3 May 2 behind the hot bat of Jackson Haun. He went 5-for-5 with eight RBIs and slugged two homers – including a grand slam.
Swimming & diving
For the first time in school history, the St. Francis boys and girls won the West Catholic Athletic League meet in the same season. The girls amassed 521 points to rout runner-up Mitty (487.5), while the boys scored 476 to hold off Bellarmine (445) Saturday.
The Lancers, undefeated in dual meets, qualified 36 competitors for this week’s Central Coast Section meet.
“It’s been an unbelievable season,” boys coach Terry O’Donnell said. “The coaches are so excited about where we’re at.”
Sophomore Brooke Schaffer set a school and league record in the girls 100-yard butterfly with a time of 54.65 seconds. Freshman Nicole Oliva did the same in the 500 freestyle, clocking a 4:51.88.
“She crushed the record (4:55.93),” O’Donnell said. “She was absolutely moving.”
Schaffer and Oliva then teamed with Kate Kennedy and Sydney Harris to set the league record in the 400 free relay (3:29.86).
The boys didn’t wrap up the league title until late in the meet when they finished 1-2-3-4 in the 100 breast stroke. Edward Tay took first (57.17), followed by Andreas Nybo (58.96), Kaza Temple (59.73) and Ryan Kim (59.76).
St. Francis locked up the top seed in the CCS Division I playoffs with Thursday’s sweep of Bellarmine in the WCAL finals.
The Lancers (30-2) are slated to host Thursday’s 7 p.m. quarterfinal match against No. 8 Mountain View (13-13) or No. 9 Lynbrook (18-5).
Track and field
The Los Altos boys won last week’s De Anza Division meet to finish as league co-champs with Palo Alto, the only team to beat the Eagles during the dual-meet season. The Eagles racked up 107 points in Thursday’s finals, besting Paly by seven points.
On the girls’ side, Los Altos placed third with 77 points. But the Eagles, unbeaten in dual meets, still claimed the outright league championship.
“It is a very exciting time for our team to win the league championship for the girls and be co-league champions for the boys,” co-head coach Dave Barth said. “We are going to continue (to work) hard in preparation for the SCVAL championships on Friday, followed by CCS the next week.”
Tommy Andrews led the boys in the De Anza Division finals, winning the 200-meter dash, placing second in the 100 and running the first leg of the victorious 4x400 relay team. Max Molcahnov scored second-place points in the triple jump and high jump. Derek Mark finished second in the 400 dash and third in the 200, while Victor Yu took third in the long jump. Rodrigo Cochran and McKinley Polen placed third in the 800 run and 100, respectively.
The girls’ lone win came in the 4x400 relay; the team comprised Anna Zaeske, Sandra Keehn, Tess Callan and Britt DeVisser. Emily Hennings finished second in the discus and third in the shot put. Thea Mollerstedt came in third in the 110 and 300 hurdles. Rebecca Lim took third in the triple jump and long jump. Nicole Player secured second in the triple jump.
Los Altos sophomore Carlos Arieta qualified for CCS by shooting a 1-under-par 70 to place second at last week’s SCVAL finals at Santa Teresa Golf Course.
Mountain View’s Michael Deklerk finished fifth with a 73 to qualify for CCS as well.
With their best team scores of the season, Los Altos (147.70) and Mountain View (147.250) beat St. Francis (144.450) April 25.
Courtney Krauss, in her first high school competition, placed first all-around (38.000) for the Eagles. Mountain View’s Cindy Linker “had a nearly perfect bar routine (9.8),” coach Sarah Wallace said, and took third all-around.
Amaya McNeal and Micah Ralston scored three goals each in Mountain View’s regular-season finale, a 10-7 loss to Palo Alto Friday.
The Spartans finished fourth in the SCVAL and advance to the league playoffs. They are scheduled to visit Los Gatos 5:30 p.m. today.
Despite the outcome – his Mountain View team fell 10-6 to Los Gatos Friday – coach Bill Kurz said the Spartans “played really well.” Colin Murray, Sam Kramer, Steven Rutledge, Cooper Treuhaft, Daniel Baier and Reed Showecker scored for Mountain View (8-6).
The Spartans are slated to return to Los Gatos 7 p.m. today to open the league playoffs.