SAMOHI — When a baseball team struggles for runs, coaches everywhere begin considering changes.
For the Santa Monica High School Vikings, that change may come in the form of small ball.
Coming off a pair of losses in which the Vikings scored seven runs against 14 from their opponents, Samohi Head Coach Sheldon Philip-Guide said he may have to reconsider his standing order allowing players to swing freely and tighten the reigns to produce more offense.
“I think we’re taking bad approaches at the plate,” Philip-Guide said. “I wanted to give the seniors a chance to swing the bat, but because of our struggles, we may play small ball.”
Philip-Guide said that problem was evident on Saturday in a 10-4 loss to St. Bonaventure in the Redondo Tournament. Starting pitcher Andrew McRitchie gave up five quick runs in the first inning before settling down. The Vikings answered with two of their own in the bottom of the first, but they were unable to produce more offense until the sixth inning, way too late to mount a credible comeback.
“We’ve talked about this as a team, but I think we may have to consider a change [in the way the team approaches each at bat],” Philip-Guide said.
The previous game, Thursday against Hawthorne, was more of the same. Up 3-1 heading into the fifth inning, the team allowed Hawthorne back in the game and were unable to answer with scoring opportunities.
The one constant for the Vikings has been the pitching of senior Alonzo Gonzalez. He’ll be called on today at home against Inglewood (game starts at 3:15 p.m.).
Gonzalez (3-2 overall, 30 strikeouts and a 2.25 ERA) will face an Inglewood team that Philip-Guide called “up and down.” Inglewood enters the game 6-10 overall and 1-1 in Ocean League play. Samohi is 8-9 overall and 1-1 in league.
Despite the two-game losing streak, Philip-Guide is taking a practical approach going forward.
“I told them to just get over the last two games, today is a new day.” he said. “Let’s focus on Inglewood.”