SAMOHI — Regardless of how it went down, it was a win for Santa Monica High School’s baseball team.
Taking advantage of eight walks and a number of defensive miscues, the Samohi Vikings were able to rout Morningside, 14-5, at home on Thursday.
The lopsided victory improved Samohi’s record to 12-10 overall and 5-1 in Ocean League play. The win also keeps the Vikings in first place. Culver City entered the game a half game out of first. Results from Culver City’s game on Thursday against Inglewood were not available at presstime.
“If we take care of business, we can win league,” Samohi Head Coach Sheldon Philip-Guide said. “It’s nice to have our destiny in our own hands.”
Helping Samohi retain its league title dreams alive was starting pitcher Brandon Hirschberger. The junior went four innings, struck out a pair and allowed no earned runs in collecting the victory. He was spelled by senior reliever Dalton Hammond who pitched the final three innings.
“It’s starting to come together for us,” Hirschberger said. “We hope to keep this going and hopefully get a home playoff game.”
On the other side of the diamond, Morningside starter Jibri Rasool struggled, allowing eight walks in just four innings. Rasool was credited with the loss.
“We hit the ball OK,” Morningside Head Coach Jeff Hines said. “We just allowed too many walks.”
Hines said that his team isn’t deep enough to give a team “as good as Santa Monica” that many extra chances.
While Samohi’s impressive 5-1 league record has them atop the standings, the five wins have come against the bottom three teams in the league: Inglewood, Hawthorne and Morningside.
The true test of the season begins next week as the Vikings prepare to face third place Beverly Hills twice. The Vikings open the two-game set at Beverly Hills on Tuesday. Santa Monica’s ace Alonzo Gonzalez will get the ball in that first game with sophomore Adam Padilla expected to pitch on Thursday at Samohi.
“We’re going to go with our best guys,” Samohi’s Philip-Guide said of his starting pitchers against Beverly Hills. “Hopefully we stay hot.”