SAN BERNARDINO — The Santa Monica High School Vikings must really enjoy playing for their playoff lives.

Playing the fourth elimination game in a row, the Vikings’ baseball team traveled deep inland to take on no. 2 seeded San Gorgonio in the first round of the California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section Division III playoffs on Friday and won 3-2.

Samohi’s Alonzo Gonzalez started the game and pitched six innings of seven strike out ball while giving up just one earned run.

“I’m on cloud nine right now,” Gonzalez said on the bus heading home. “I knew the caliber of the game we were playing.

“I just pounded the strike zone from pitch one to the sixth inning.”

Samohi Head Coach Rob Duron praised Gonzalez’ effort and said he was pleased with the junior lefty’s control.

With the win, Samohi, who qualified for the first round by winning a wild card game against Knight on Tuesday, advances to the second round where it will play the winner of the Orange-Los Altos game. Results from that game were not available at presstime.

“We’re feeling pretty good right now,” Duron said. “These kids are carrying me right now.

“We did what we’ve been doing all year.”

Senior Logan Whitchurch paced the offense all day. He went 2-for-4 on the day and scored a pair of runs. Closer Drew Hammond came in to pitch the seventh and made it a little interesting.

Nursing a 3-2 lead, Hammond hit the first man he faced. The next San Gorgonio batter hit a sharp grounder to second baseman Walker Dove who made a dazzling stop to begin a double play. Hammond hit the next man up, but retired the final batter to secure the victory.

“Like I’ve said all along, we can play with anybody,” Duron said.

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