SAMOHI — The bats are alive with the sounds of line drives at Santa Monica High School these days.
For the sixth straight game, the Samohi Vikings have scored at least double-digit runs against an Ocean League opponent. The victim on Thursday at Samohi was the Beverly Hills Normans, a team the Vikings defeated earlier in the week. The 13-3 rout helped the Vikings (14-10 overall, 7-1 in league) retain at least a share of first place and sets up a pair of games next week against co-league leader Culver City that will ultimately decide the championship.
The game Thursday was highlighted by strong performances from starting pitcher Adam Padilla both on the mound and at the plate. The sophomore pitched five innings of one-run ball and collected four runs batted in during a fifth inning rally that broke the game open. His double in the inning with the bases loaded made the score 6-1, a deficit Beverly Hills was unable to close.
“My slider worked today,” Padilla said. “That made me happy.”
That and the pair of home runs his teammates hit in support of him. First baseman Alonzo Gonzalez got the scoring started with a solo home run, tying the score at one in the second inning. The next big blast came from senior Andrew Montanari, who hit his first grand slam of his career during a fifth inning that saw the Vikings score 10 runs.
“[The bats] woke up today,” Samohi Head Coach Sheldon Philip-Guide said. “I think we’re finally waiting for good pitches.”
With a league title on the line, Samohi will pitch Gonzalez on Tuesday at home during senior day and Padilla on Thursday at Culver City.
While pitching will of course be a factor, it was the offense that Beverly Hills Head Coach Vonzie Paysinger said will be key for Samohi next week against Culver City.
“If they play like this next week,” Paysinger said, “they’ll win both games.”