SAMOHI — The hunt for a number two starter may be over for Santa Monica High School’s baseball team.
Junior Alonzo Gonzalez allowed just two hits while striking out four en route to a 2-0 win over Chaminade on Saturday at Samohi as part of the Lions Tournament. Gonzalez allowed just one hit over six innings in collecting the victory. The tall left hander is now 3-1 on the season and may have moved one step closer to becoming the Vikings’ second starter behind standout Tyler Skaggs.
“I knew (Chaminade) was going to be aggressive,” Gonzalez said. “I really wanted to make them think.”
Gonzalez got out to a fast start in the first inning by striking out the leadoff batter. He went on to strike out two in the first frame. He began the second inning giving up a single to Greg Goshgarian. With a man on first, Gonzalez was able to force a pair of batters to fly out to right field.
The only credible Chaminade scoring opportunity came later in the second inning with Ryan Torres at the plate. Gonzalez, who threw a handful of balls in the dirt during the first two innings, threw a wild pitch that catcher Colter Johnson couldn’t grab. Goshgarian advanced to second on the play, but was stranded when Torres popped out to third base.
“I started to see that they were guessing,” Gonzalez said of Chaminade’s struggles at the plate. “I saw that they were looking for the fast ball so I tried to take something off of it.”
Chaminade Head Coach Frank Mutz said that it was hard for his offensive players to get on track because Gonzalez was consistently ahead in the count.
“Samohi had a guy who was around the plate all day,” Mutz said. “My guys struggled with the fast ball. They just didn’t hit it.”
Despite collecting the loss, he was happy with the performance of his starter, senior Tyler Faust.
The hard-throwing right hander allowed just three hits over five innings allowing just two earned runs.
All of the damage on offense took place during the third inning. Samohi freshman Adam Padilla led off the third with a walk. Senior shortstop Ricky Gomez followed with a double, moving Padilla to third. With a pair of men in scoring position, Head Coach Rob Duron called for Vince Lawrence to lay down a sacrifice bunt scoring Padilla on the play with Gomez advancing to third. Matias Letelier followed and again a squeeze was called. Letelier laid down a near perfect bunt that died just feet down the third base line. Gomez scored on the play, making it 2-0.
“We really executed on some stuff that I’ve been preaching all along,” Duron said. “These guys are really starting to believe in what we’re trying to get accomplished around here.”
The win was the second of the day for Samohi. The Vikings defeated Western High School in the first game of the dual-location double header as part of the Lions Tournament. Samohi defeated Western, 7-4, with Andrew Montanari collecting the victory. Samohi’s record is now 8-7 overall and 1-1 in Ocean League play.
Next up for the Vikings is the team’s third game as part of the tournament. Skaggs will take the mound for Samohi on the road against Lompoc at 7:30 p.m.