SAMOHI — Hopefully Santa Monica High School’s baseball team’s ambitious scheduling pays off come league, but for now it was just another in a long string of losses.
The latest setback came against Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, 13-2, on Tuesday at Samohi.
“We can’t keep playing catch-up baseball,” Head Coach Sheldon Philip-Guide said. “I try to teach them that each day is a new day. We can’t fix the past, all we can do is stay the course.”
For at least three innings, it looked like the Vikings were finally going to give a quality team a battle. After allowing two runs in the first inning, the Vikings came back with a pair of their own in the bottom half of the frame to tie the game, 2-2.
Mason Landis reached first after being hit by Notre Dame starting pitcher Eddie Muhl, who was making his first varsity start of the season. Junior Adam Padilla, who was the designated hitter for Samohi, launched a double into right-center field scoring Landis. Padilla would eventually score on a David Tyre-Vigil single to left field. Padilla finished the day 2-for-3.
But, that was as close as the Vikings would come to winning just its second game of a 1-10 season.
“I think they are a program on the rise,” Notre Dame head coach Tom Dill said of Samohi. “But, they are definitely rebuilding at this point.”
Samohi starter Andrew McRitchie was pulled after the fourth inning with the Vikings down 7-2. His line for the day included four innings pitched, three earned runs, four unearned runs and a pair of strike outs.
McRitchie said that he was comfortable heading into the fourth inning, but said that a pair of fielding errors didn’t make it any easier for the Vikings.
“We were fine until then,” McRitchie said. “We just fell apart.”
That sentiment was echoed by Philip-Guide, who said that it seems that the Vikings are playing tight for fear that “the wheels would come off” at some point in the game.
Samohi’s difficult schedule has included games against the likes of Loyola and Chatsworth, something that Philip-Guide hoped would condition his team come the Ocean League schedule and perhaps beyond into the playoffs. So far, he has little to indicate that the team is coming around, yet he remains optimistic that the Vikings could vie for a playoff berth despite the slow start.
“It’s not about winning and losing in the preseason,” he said. “I just didn’t want us shell-shocked in the playoffs when we would face some decent teams.
“Hopefully one of these days it will click.”