Not only is Santa Monica High the Ocean League baseball champion – it is the only league representative to survive the first round of the CIF playoffs.
Joe McGrew’s shutout pitching highlighted Samohi’s 5-0 win over La Habra High on Thursday, May 17.
Sparked by a key double by Dylan Early, Samohi scored three runs in the first inning and two more in the third. That was enough for McGrew, who was named all-CIF last season.
However, the Ocean League’s two other representatives are out of the playoffs. Second place Beverly Hills lost to Oaks Christian, 13-2, and third place Culver City, after winning a wild card game from Fillmore, 3-2, lost to Northview, 4-1.
Samohi, which had a 9-1 record in league games, is 21-9 overall. The Vikings’ second round game was scheduled against St. Bonaventure of Ventura Tuesday, May 22. The result was unavailable at press time.
Casey Reese, the only member of the Vikings who has made a commitment to a university, has taken over the team batting lead. Reese, who will play at University of Nevada, Las Vegas next season, is hitting .444.
David Castellanos has a .438 average, and Bryan Eyler is hitting .404 and leads the team in RBI with 30.
Early has overcome a back injury suffered in football to drive in 24 runs.
Three pitchers have accounted for all but three of the Vikings’ wins. McGrew has a 7-2 record, Tyler Skaggs is 6-1 and Devon Ramirez 5-2.
Reese was expected to be a prominent pitcher when he transferred in this season from Las Vegas. But he didn’t pitch because of an arm injury and instead has made his major contribution as a hitter.
This is Kevin Brockway’s third season as the Samohi coach and the Vikings have qualified for the playoffs each time.