Last season, when Santa Monica High went undefeated in Ocean League baseball, the team had very few injuries.
The opposite has been true this season, which explains the Vikings’ 5-5 record and a loss in their first league game.
Samohi was defeated, 6-4 at Hawthorne last Thursday before coming back for an 11-2 win over the Cougars Friday. Samohi coach Kevin Brockway was ejected from Thursday’s game for arguing with the umpires. Under CIF rules he had to sit out Friday’s game.
In addition, batting coach Damon Farmar was absent. He’s the father of UCLA guard Damon Farmar and was in Indianapolis attending college basketball’s Final Four.
“It’s strange how a team can be injury-free one season and have so many the next year,’’ said Brockway. “But that’s the way it is and we have to deal with it.’’
Following the graduation of Mike Walsh, Chris Fiala and James Nedelman were expected to be the Vikings’ primary starting pitchers. But both have been out with arm problems.
Joe McGrew, up from the junior varsity, has become the Vikings’ ace. The junior has four victories. Junior Devon Ramirez was the winning pitcher Friday against Hawthorne.
Mike Schwartz, who’s had a wrist injury since the season began, caught Friday’s game but has been unable to swing a bat. A DH batted in his place throughout the game.
Senior left fielder Milan De Pillars, one of the Vikings’ most reliable players, dislocated a shoulder while diving for a ball and is likely to be out for a week.
Fiala may return soon. He pitched a simulated game last week and is a possibility to start Thursday against Morningside.
McGrew has taken advantage of an opportunity to perform and so has Brian Eyler, a soccer player who played right field Friday and made an outstanding catch. He’s the brother of former Viking Mike Eyler.
Rain has also affected the Vikings’ schedule. A tournament game scheduled against North Hollywood Friday wasn’t played and one of the Hawthorne games was rescheduled three days later.