SAMOHI — What does a team coming off a painful late-inning loss to a quality team do next?
Santa Monica High School’s Head Coach Rob Duron said the only thing he and his guys can do is move on. That opportunity will come Saturday when the team takes part in the Lions Tournament. Samohi will kick-off the tourney against Western High School in Fullerton on Saturday at 10 a.m. and will travel back to Santa Monica for the second game of the dual-location doubleheader against Chaminade at 4 p.m.
With a schedule like that, it’s no wonder that the 3-4 loss to Crespi on Tuesday will soon be a memory.
“It was a real tough game,” Duron said of the loss to Crespi. “Crespi is ranked right behind the Angels and Dodgers, so I’m proud of the way my guys played.
“I told [the team] that we did some bad things during earlier games that we won, so the seven innings of really good baseball we played was a positive sign.”
Duron hopes that the close loss will help propel his team to bigger and better things once the heart of the Ocean League season begins, but the team will have to contend with a number of tough teams playing in the Lions Tournament before moving on with their season. The Vikings are currently 6-7 on the season.
“The schedule is not a big deal,” Duron said of Saturday’s games. “They aren’t sending us too far away.”
Junior pitcher Andrew Montanari will get the start against Western, while junior Alonzo Gonzalez will pitch at home against Chaminade in the second game.
“[Chaminade] is going to be aggressive,” Gonzalez said. “Hopefully, I can keep them off balance.”
Coming off a strong start against Redondo last week, Gonzalez hopes the momentum of that win will carry over to this next start.
“I just need to be more consistent,” he said. “I need to keep my pitch count and walks down.
“Hopefully I can keep this rolling into the league and hopefully into the playoffs.”
A return trip to the playoffs would be a welcome development, but many on the team believe that a run deep into the postseason isn’t out of the question.
“I’m really hungry,” senior pitcher Tyler Skaggs said of the prospect of returning to the playoffs. “I feel like I’m a better pitcher and could carry the team come playoff time.”