With an experienced and talented lineup consisting almost entirely of seniors, Santa Monica High is expected to have a strong baseball team this season.
The opening game couldn’t have gone much better.
Samohi began play in the Southern California Tournament Friday, March 2, with an 11-0 victory over Pacifica High of Oxnard.
The first time Coach Kevin Brockway got a look at his potent alignment it demonstrated vast potential by scoring six runs in the bottom of the first inning.
Lefthander Joe McGrew, who was all-CIF last season, didn’t need much more help. He cruised to the shutout win with relief help from Bryan Little.
Like any coach, Brockway saw ways the performance could have been better, although he wasn’t complaining about the outcome.
“When we got ahead we stopped scoring,” he said. Asked about McGrew, Brockway replied: “He did fine, but I think he can keep improving.”
Dylan Early, the Vikings’ RBI leader last season when he played centerfield, was in right this time and contributed a single to the first inning rally.
Early suffered a back injury during football season when he became the team’s kicker and was hurt while being tackled.
“I put Devon Ramirez in center and let Dylan play right,” said Brockway. “Dylan is doing fine but we’re being careful with him.”
The other unsettled position is catcher. Garret Ramos was expected to be the starter but is out with an injury. Vince Lawrence, the running back on the football team, started the opening game, but Brockway said he has several options, including third baseman Paul Salazar, who has expressed a desire to catch.
With the game one-sided, Brockway was able to use reserves at most positions in the late innings.
Among the reserves were rightfielder Skylar Pascal and leftfielder Tyler Skaggs, who figure to gain some experience this season and play prominent roles next season.
Pascal’s father, Lonnie, was a former star at Venice High and West Los Angeles College and played professionally. His mother, Risa, runs marathons and is a personal trainer. Skylar gave up football to concentrate on baseball and was recently promoted from the junior varsity.
Skaggs, a sophomore who is also a pitcher, is the son of Samohi softball coach Debbie Skaggs. He had a single in his only at-bat Friday.