DOWNTOWN — Santa Monica High School’s Adam Padilla is using his summer vacation wisely.

Padilla, the varsity baseball team’s lone freshman last season, recently set the 16 and Under Junior Olympics on fire with a pair of no-hitters.

“It was the most in the zone I’ve ever been,” he said of his performance late last month in Arizona. “I knew scouts were going to be watching.”

Playing for the Irvine Blue Wave, a team that plays on the Connie Mack circuit, Padilla feels his strong performance during the tournament will springboard him to another strong season for the Vikings next year. After being called up to varsity mid-season, Padilla settled into the lead off spot in the order while playing outfield and pitcher.

Neither no-no was a complete game due to the mercy rule, but Padilla said he felt he could have pitched all day. The tournament featured 90 teams with the Blue Wave finishing 33rd.

Padilla said that his performance caught the eyes of scouts on hand, a fact that gives the young hurler confidence going forward.

“It’s really important to get noticed by scouts,” Padilla said. “That’s how you get them to start following you.”

Padilla’s summer work will continue as he prepares to play for the White Sox’s scout team. A number of Samohi players play for the scout team.

Once summer is over, the Samohi baseball team will begin preparing for a new season led by new coach Sheldon Philip-Guide. Padilla has yet to meet the coach, but from what he hears Philip-Guide looks like a good choice to lead the team following the departure of former coach Rob Duron.

Former UCLA safety heads to SMC<p>

Former Crespi High School star E.J. Woods has decided to leave UCLA’s football team and is reportedly heading to Santa Monica College.

A number of area newspapers are reporting that he has officially left the Westwood campus, but it is unclear whether he will play football at SMC. Calls to SMC Head Coach Robert Taylor were not returned on Friday.

Woods’ time at UCLA began to head south when he was charged with six counts of battery and sexual battery earlier this year. The charges stem from a number of incidents that allegedly took place at apartments near the UCLA campus. A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for July 31.

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