The seniors who played baseball for Santa Monica High last season have made their college choices. It appears that every senior on the team will further his education and attempt to continue his baseball career at a variety of places.
Two Vikings will continue to be teammates; outfielder Milan De Pillars and infielder Kevin Gonzalez have both chosen San Jose State.
Pitcher Chris Fiala will attend Pierce College and is likely to have former Viking teammate Chris Walsh with him. Walsh attended San Diego State when he graduated from Samohi a year ago but reportedly has come home and plans to attend Pierce.
Local players who select the community college level have to leave the area because neither Santa Monica College nor West Los Angeles College field a baseball team any longer. Both used to but both dropped the sport.
Neal Pourroy will attend Loyola Marymount, Alex West will attend Occidental College, James Nedelman is going to Tufts, Garret Griffin to UC San Diego and John Negreti to MIT, one of the nation’s highest- rated academic institutions.
Harlow Sharp, who was a seldom-used Viking pitcher who changed his delivery last season and was more effective from a submarine motion, will try to make the team at Auburn.
The list is expected to be larger a year from now because every starting position on the 2006 Samohi team is expected to be manned by a senior.
Some of those key players showcased their talents at the recent Stanford camp. Among them was catcher Mike Schwartz, who missed most of the last Samohi season with a slow-healing wrist injury. Reportedly, he swung the bat well.
That was encouraging because the injury had prevented Schwartz from being effective with the bat. The Vikings brought him back for catching duties for a few games while his turn at bat went to a designated hitter. But then that plan was abandoned and Schwartz concentrated on his recovery in preparation for summer camps, where players compete for college scholarships.
Some other players who will key the Vikings’ bid for the 2006 Ocean League championship, will be all-CIF pitcher Joe McGrew, centerfielder Dylan Early, first baseman Diego Valdez and outfielder/pitcher Devon Ramirez.