SAMOHI — Tossing eight innings of two-hit ball is usually enough to notch a victory.
Santa Monica High School’s Logan Whitchurch (3-2, 1.87 ERA) just so happened to be on the wrong side as the Vikings lost an extra inning Ocean League game to Beverly Hills, 2-1, on Tuesday. The senior righty was impressive in the complete game loss, allowing just two hits and striking out eight Normans.
With the loss, Samohi’s record is now 14-12 and 5-2 in league. Beverly Hills improved to 9-14 overall and 5-2 in league. Samohi had been in a first place tie with Culver City entering the game. Results from the Culver City-Morningside game were unavailable at presstime.
“[Whitchurch] deserved a better result,” Head Coach Rob Duron said. “I liked seeing the way he approached the game.”
Whitchurch breezed through the first three innings, striking out five in the process. The fourth inning proved to be the first scoring opportunity for Beverly Hills and the Normans took advantage with Samohi leading 1-0.
Right fielder Jamie Gourley led off the inning bunting for a single. Whitchurch walked the next man, Ben Jones. With a pair of runners on, Whitchurch induced Erik Munzer to hit a soft grounder to short that Ricky Gomez attempted to turn into a double play, but he failed to throw out Munzer on the play allowing Gourley to advance to third.
With men on the corners and one out, the Normans’ Cody Vallez-Norton laid down a sacrifice bunt scoring Gourley and tying the score at 1-1.
The game remained knotted at 1-1 until the top of the eighth inning. Beverly Hills’ Shane Shapiro led off with a single to right field. The Normans promptly sacrificed him to second during the next at-bat.
Ben Siteman-Sommers followed with a single, which moved Shapiro over to third. With a man 90 feet from scoring the go-ahead run, pinch hitter A.J. Fortier delivered by hitting a soft grounder to short that Gomez again tried to turn into a double play, but the throw to first that would have been the third out of the inning was late allowing Shapiro to score what turned out being the game winner.
Samohi did make a game of it in the bottom of the eighth. Whitchurch led off with an infield hit to short. With a man on and no outs, Drew Hammond was able to tap a grounder to short that he beat out. With the potential tying and winning runs on base, Michael Alonge was able to sacrifice both men over.
With the game on the line, Duron summoned Tyler Skaggs to pinch hit. The tall lefty was unable to pick up the runners, striking out on three pitches.
Josh Huerta was the last hope for Samohi to either send the game to the ninth inning or collect the victory. He slapped the first pitch he saw from Beverly Hills’ Kyle Kay to left field for the game’s final out.
“We left too many guys on base,” Duron said.
Samohi takes on Beverly Hills in the second game of the series on the road on Thursday. Duron is still undecided on who will start the game. Alonzo Gonzalez, Andrew Montanari and Skaggs are all in the running to take the mound.