Varsity baseball starts postseason; upsets Alhambra


Lauren Ludwig

The baseball team huddles together to rally for the upcoming inning. The games final score would end up with Chandler at 8 points and Perry at 2.

The playoffs are finally here, and varsity baseball has wasted no time getting up to speed. After completing the second hardest schedule in the state for their regular season according to Head Coach Damien Tippett, the team is hoping to make a run deep into the playoffs. The win against Alhambra marked baseball’s 200th win total.

Their postseason run started off with a huge upset against Alhambra at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Alhambra was 28-1 before facing the Pumas, but electric performances from key players kept Perry in the lead. 

Senior Pitcher Stephen Hernandez threw for six innings in what was described as a ‘gutsy performance’ on the mound by head coach Damien Tippett. He handed the team quick innings by locking in his fastball and forcing bad swings with his change-up. When asked what allowed them to deliver such a dominant performance Hernandez responded that “we come out with a lot of confidence, and I trust my defense behind me.”

The team did not just excel at pitching though. Player Cade Lacy hit a double in the first inning which put the team on the board and gave them a lead they would not let go of. Lacy had studied Alhambra’s team before the match. “I watched film on their pitcher, saw what he liked to throw, and jumped on it when I was given the opportunity,” said Lacy. Lacy also said he and the other outfielders felt the tide of the game begin to shift in their favor after making two runs in the third inning. 

Player Jeremy Sprague was also a key component of the team’s victory. He made several blocks and threw out some of Alhambra’s best. He also had a run batted in and two clutch hits according to Tippett. Sprague did not let the pressure get to him “I have to think of it like any other game so I don’t play super tense,” said Sprague. He also added that Tippett and Coach Ray Mota had been working to keep the team calm and reminded them that though the field is bigger, the distance between the bases remains the same. This year’s playoff games are held at Tempe Diablo Stadium, the spring training field of MLB team the Los Angeles Angels.

The team has been consistent at home this year but went 7-7. The team’s schedule has been full of variety this year “we’ve seen everything; we’ve faced national teams four times this year, including one of the best teams in the country from Florida,” said Tippett. Putting the team to the test in the regular season seems to have paid off, as the boys have faced every single team in the top eight now.

This winupset could very well be the beginning of a deep run or even a state championship for the team, who for now is just focused on continuing to buy into the program and stay cool.