SAMOHI — Samohi’s victory over South Torrance featured a touch of the familiar and a good helping of new.
The familiar was senior Adam Padilla, who threw a complete game, allowing just a lone run during Tuesday’s 3-1 win over South. The new came in the form of transfer Nobu Suzuki, who was 3-for-3 with a triple for Santa Monica High School’s baseball team.
“He’s a godsend,” Head Coach Sheldon Philip-Guide said of Suzuki. “The kid can hit.”
The only issue arises when the team tries to communicate with the junior, who just this year moved from Japan to the states with his family. Philip-Guide has instructed his ball players to learn a few words in Japanese each to help reach out to Suzuki, who doesn’t speak much English.
Language barrier aside, Padilla has nothing but respect for Suzuki’s game.
“He’s a hitting machine,” he said.
The win improves Samohi’s record to 3-7. Padilla’s mastery of South on the mound helped him win his second game against one loss.
The game was a bit of a pitcher’s dual for most of the afternoon with South’s Matt Bunch holding his own against Samohi’s lineup.
Both hurlers breezed through the first couple of innings, but it was Samohi who would strike first.
Suzuki led the charge, leading off the bottom of the third inning with a single to left field, his second hit of the game. The next batter, junior catcher Lino Lares, slapped a double to left, advancing Suzuki to third.
A couple of batters later, Padilla walked to load the bases for Jonathan Rakuljic, who hit a sacrifice to third base that brought Suzuki home with the game’s first run.
A pair of innings later, and it was Suzuki again setting the stage for Samohi with a triple to the fence. Lares followed by sending a deep fly to left that South’s Nick Cohan couldn’t handle, sending Suzuki home on the error and Lares to second on the play.
Padilla would later knock Lares in with a sacrifice to center field.
It was all the scoring Samohi would need.
Padilla would continue to shut down South until the top of the seventh when Dylan Tobin crossed the plate on Hayden Finley’s RBI-single later in the frame.
“[Padilla] pitched a good game,” South head coach Grady Sain said. “We just couldn’t make adjustments against him.”
Next for Samohi is a home game against Palos Verdes Peninsula on Thursday. The game begins at 3:15 p.m. Peninsula enters the game 3-5 overall.