HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL

INGLEWOOD — Apparently, the Samohi Vikings have at least one ace in their deck.

Senior pitcher Alonzo Gonzalez struckout a season-high 15 batters against Inglewood on Thursday, giving Santa Monica High School’s baseball team a crucial 13-1 win in Ocean League play. The win brings the Vikings back to .500 at 9-9 overall and 2-1 in league.

“This is what happens when you throw strikes,” Samohi Head Coach Sheldon Philip-Guide said. “When his stuff is on, it’s hard to hit for some of these guys.”

Gonzalez went the distance, giving up his sole run in the seventh inning. The victory improves his record to 4-2 with a 2.00 ERA.

Philip-Guide said that Gonzalez’ performance helps prop up the entire pitching staff.

“Some of the younger guys feed off of what he does,” the first-year coach said.

The 13 runs Samohi scored were a product of double-digit walks issued by Inglewood’s pitchers.

“There wasn’t an offensive explosion, hits wise,” Philip-Guide said. “We had a lot of patient at-bats.”

Among the players issued multiple free passes were Adam Padilla and Mason Landis.

Assistant Coach Tony Todd said that he was happy to see a number of backup players get into the game, giving them much-need experience.

The win keeps the Vikings in a tie for first place with Beverly Hills. Samohi played Inglewood again on Friday at home, but the score was not available at presstime. The game had been scheduled for Tuesday, but it was rained out.

Next for the Vikings is a road matchup against Taft on Saturday as part of the Redondo Tournament. The Vikings are 2-2 in the tourney thus far and hope to secure a victory over one of the elite teams in the Los Angeles City Section.

Taft is 13-7 overall and has been successful against a team Samohi lost to earlier. Taft handed Westlake a 13-2 beating late last month, also in the Redondo Tournament. Westlake escaped with a 6-5 win over Samohi in tourney play.

“They look like a pretty good team,” Philip-Guide said of Taft. “I expect a good game from them.”

daniela@smdp.com