When Santa Monica High School and Crossroads take the Clover Park field tonight at 7 p.m., bragging rights will be on the line.
Facing each other for the first time in recent memory, the two local teams don’t exactly have what most would consider a cross-town rivalry. But, they do have some familiarity.
Samohi starting pitcher Adam Padilla once attended Crossroads and was expected to play for the Roadrunners until his family decided to transfer him across town. He went to school with current Roadrunners Josh Flyer, Max Robinson and Andres Leyva to name just a few.
With both teams trying to downplay the rivalry angle, Padilla said he’s privately happy to face some of his old friends across the diamond.
“We definitely want to beat them,” the sophomore Padilla said. “We want to show them that we own Santa Monica.”
He’ll get a chance as he’s slated to start on the mound for the Samohi Vikings. Padilla has been serving as the team’s No. 2 starter behind senior Alonzo Gonzalez.
Samohi Head Coach Sheldon Philip-Guide said that part of the reason he chose Padilla to start was to give the game a little more interest.
“Makes the game a little fun,” Philip-Guide said.
Crossroads’ Josh Flyer is expected to get the starting nod for the Roadrunners. The senior has been limited by arm trouble, but he is confident that he has what it takes to topple Samohi.
“I’m just going to try to throw strikes,” Flyer said. “That’s the most important thing.”
The start would be Flyer’s second of the season, the first coming against Montclair Prep in the Santa Ynez Tournament earlier this week. The Roadrunners lost, 10-0, but Flyer was charged with just three runs. He said the team had a few miscues in the field that made the score a bit lopsided.
Tonight’s game, while just a non-league matchup, actually has a bit of significance for both squads as they try to pad their resumes for potential playoff seedings. Crossroads, which started the season strong, has slumped to a 6-5 overall record. Samohi (6-7 overall) has been hovering around the .500 mark all season.
“We’re going to have our work cut out,” Philip-Guide said. “It won’t be a walk in the park by any means.
“It will be a good test for us.”