SAMOHI ‚Äî Based on the scoreboard, Santa Monica baseball‚Äôs 9-1 win over Roosevelt in the SoCal Invitational was a rout.
But, hidden in the stats were a couple of key scenarios where Samohi pitchers escaped bases loaded jams to save the day on Tuesday at home.
Up 2-1 in the top of the fourth inning, Samohi starting pitcher Eli Bieber allowed a bunt single to Edgar Enriquez to juice the bases with one out.
With the prospect of the lead in jeopardy, Bieber induced Robert Gonzalez to fly out to center and struck out Alex Hernandez to preserve the lead.
Samohi padded the lead in the bottom half of the fourth when senior Alex Turner slapped a double to the gap in right-center field, pushing Adrian Perez and Joey Rosenblum across the plate to give the Vikings a 4-1 lead.
In the very next frame, Roosevelt again loaded the bases against Bieber, sending Samohi head coach Kurt Schwengel to the mound to replace his starter with two outs.
In came reliever Nick Jimenez who forced Roosevelt‚Äôs Robert Contreras to ground out to the infield to again protect the lead.
“Mistakes put us in the hole,” Roosevelt‚Äôs acting head coach Ray Ruiz said. “That‚Äôs a pretty good squad over there. It‚Äôs hard to come back against a team like that.”
Schwengel was pleased that his pitching once again came through on the mound. His Vikings have allowed just one run in each of the last three games after surrendering 13 to Notre Dame last week.
“We have a bunch of [pitchers] who have been getting it done for us this season,” Schwengel said of his team‚Äôs 4-1 start.
From then on, it was all Samohi. The Vikings would score five more runs, highlighted by catcher Marlon Solomita‚Äôs double that scored Rudy Gonzalez and Turner.
Bieber was credited with the win in the first varsity start for the junior.
“I knew I could keep them off balance,” Bieber said. “But, they figured me out after a while.”
Samohi will need more of the same as they prepare for a doubleheader with Long Beach Wilson next Tuesday. Wilson is just 2-3, but Schwengel believes that their record is a bit misleading.
There was a doubleheader scheduled with cross-town New Roads on Saturday, but it was canceled.
Schwengel is wary of the time off while the team is riding a hot streak, but said that he‚Äôll hold inter-team scrimmages to keep his squad sharp.
“It‚Äôs tough to keep guys up,” Schwengel said. “But it is good timing, we could use the break. We‚Äôve been pitching our starters long innings.”