Baseball team’s spirit reinvigorated by recent wins April 3, 2018 — by Patrick Li and Michael Zhang Photo by Muthu PalaniappanSenior Nathan Peng connects with a pitch during a recent game. Basball team plans to win league and qualify for CCS With a league record of 5-1 and an overall record of 5-3 as of April 2, the baseball team is erasing memories of last year’s 8-19-1 season. The Falcons hope to re-qualify for the more competitive De Anza division next year. Last week, the Falcons played back-to-back games against Santa Clara. At a home game on March 29, they won 13-4, with Chris Auches leading the charge with three runs batted in and with junior pitcher Matt Jacobs securing the win. Playing at Santa Clara two days earlier, they won 2-1 behind the pitching of senior Robert Scott. On March 24, the Falcons lost at Los Altos 11-4. Although the Falcons scored four runs in the first two innings, the Eagles rallied from behind with four runs in the fifth. The Falcons defeated Lybrook 4-0 at home on March 23. Jacobs and senior Nathan Peng were able to hold the Vikings to just two hits. So far, Peng believes that most of the team’s struggles so far have been on defense. “Out of the games we’ve played so far, we haven’t had much trouble on offense,” Peng said. “It’s our pitching and our defense that has been holding us back.” Additionally, this year, two of last year’s JV coaches, Tyler Derby and Travis Velo, have moved up to assistant positions on the varsity team, changing the team dynamic and implementing a new style of coaching. According to sophomore pitcher-first baseman Mihir Bettadapur, the coaches are keeping in the starting players in for the whole game rather than substituting frequently. “In JV I played every game and batted in the front of the order, but now I have to earn my minutes and it’s a pretty stark contrast,” Bettadapur said. Despite some of the younger players not being in the starting lineup, Peng trusts that the new additions to the team, including Bettadapur, will be able to perform when the time comes. “[The new players] have a lot of potential and can be right there with the veterans and provide good play when called upon,” Peng said. The Falcons still have a host of games to play as a result of rescheduling due to rainouts in March. They will be taking on teams such as Gunn, Santa Clara, Santa Teresa and Los Gatos soon. Scott believes their success in league play will translate over to their CCS prospects as well. “I know we’re going to be in CCS because the plan is to win league and that’s going to put us in, and I think that’s very attainable,” Scott said.