The improved, confident Santa Monica High baseball team defeated Inglewood last week, 13-2 and 15-4 to set up sterner tests in the Ocean League.
With a 4-0 league record Samohi was scheduled for two games against Beverly Hills this week and two against powerful Culver City next week, May 3 at home and May 5 at Culver.
Samohi also plays Redondo Tournament games on Saturdays.
Since Coach Kevin Brockway altered his lineup several week ago, inserting five new starters, the Vikings have improved on offense and defense.
Although Samohi had a 6-1 lead over Inglewood after two innings in a home game last Thursday, starting pitcher Chris Fiala wasn’t sharp and the Sentinels scored the next three runs.
Samohi answered the challenge in dramatic fashion, putting together a nine-run inning. As a result the game could have been stopped in the fifth inning because of the CIF’s mercy rule. If one team is ahead by 10 runs after five innings the game ends unless both coaches agree to keep playing. Inglewood wanted to continue and Brockway agreed even though Samohi was ahead, 15-4.
The upside was what happened. With the game in hand Brockway brought in some reserves who got an inning of experience before the game was called in the bottom of the sixth. Sophomore James Nedelman pitched a scoreless inning.
The downside was that Inglewood had an opportunity to win, if it could have rallied. Had it done so all the runs that scored at that juncture would have counted.
Samohi’s new lineup was productive again.
Although Viking star Cody Decker struck out in the first inning Samohi got off to a good start when Junior Villanueva and Milan Depillars, who hit fifth and sixth in the batting order, produced run-scoring singles.
With Samohi leading in the second, 3-1, Decker hit a three-run inside-the-park home run. It was a fly ball misjudged by the Inglewood left fielder and his seventh homer of the season.
Decker, Samohi’s biggest baseball star since Jonas Swyer four years ago, now has 34 RBI to become one of the leaders among Southern California high school players.
In the new-look lineup he is protected by Dylan Early, who hits ahead of him, and Mike Schwartz, who hits behind him.
Early was four-for-four in Thursday’s game and Schwartz had a pair of run-scoring singles.Samohi had won its first two league games from Morningside. In other league games, Inglewood split two games with Beverly Hills, Culver defeated Morningside 3-1 and Hawthorne defeated Beverly Hills 8-2 and 6-3, improving its’ league record to 3-1.