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(photo by Tony Todd)

SAMOHI — What a difference a few months can make.

When the Ocean League season began, Santa Monica High School’s baseball team was struggling through a tough preseason schedule that didn’t produce many wins. That all changed as the Vikings would go on to finish the regular season 10-0, culminating in a league title.

Those exploits have paid off as a number of Vikings made the All-Ocean League team, it was announced on Tuesday.

Junior Adam Padilla was named Most Valuable Player for his work on both the mound and at the plate. The junior was pivotal on the mound against league rivals Beverly Hills and Culver City in the season’s final weeks to help the Vikings win the title.

“Adam is the catalyst for us in terms of how we go,” Head Coach Sheldon Philip-Guide said. “Although he’s an underclassman, he’s a leader. The kids take his lead.

“We wouldn’t have won league without him.”

Not to be outdone, Philip-Guide was named Coach of the Year by his peers in just his second season at Samohi.

“My goal is to try to improve every year until we win a CIF championship,” he said. “Hopefully, one year down the line, we can win one. But, I’m hoping to do it this year.”

In addition to Padilla, seven Vikings earned honors.

The first team included: Matthew Stancil (first base), Andrew McRitchie (pitcher), David Tyre-Vigil (designated hitter) and Alex Turner (outfield).

Second team honorees included: Lino Lares (catcher), Albert Garcia (pitcher) and Nick Herrera (second base).

The all-league team was released as the Vikings prepare to take on Montebello on Friday in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 playoffs.

Philip-Guide hopes the team doesn’t let its late-season success get to their heads, but said that they should savor the moment.

“Hopefully, that reward will motivate them to do even better in the playoffs,” he said.

daniela@smdp.com

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