Not only has West Los Angeles College restored baseball after a 21-year absence, the Oilers have won their first game.
West LA traveled to Orange County and defeated Saddleback, the No. 7-ranked community college team in Southern California, 3-2, on Saturday, January 26 in the first game of a doubleheader. Saddleback won the second game, 9-3.
“We learned that we can be competitive against a quality opponent,” said West LA assistant coach Kevin Brockway, who was the Santa Monica High head coach the last three years.
West LA’s first home game will be February 6 against Cero Cosso, and it will host Saddleback February 16 in a doubleheader on the school’s refurbished field.
The head coach is Bob Grant, a one-time Westchester High catcher who played professionally for five years.
There are five former Samohi players on the roster, two each from St. Monica and New Roads, and one from Palisades.
The former Pali player, third baseman Dylan Cohen, batted .400 for Mesa College in San Diego last season and is one of West LA’s key players.
Batting third in the lineup, Cohen had two hits in the opening victory.
“He also had one of the best at-bats I’ve seen,” said Brockway. “He fouled off a dozen pitches and then drew a walk.”
David Viviano from New Roads was a West LA starter in the outfield.
West LA’s winning pitcher was Andrew Plotkin, a former Westchester High star who attended Loyola Marymount but didn’t play, then pitched for Harbor College last season.
When Plotkin tired in the sixth inning, two relievers finished the job.
West LA had a 3-0 lead early in the game.
Alex Coombs from Culver City High started the second game and absorbed the loss.
Former St. Monica baseball and football star Vince Valdez played second base for West LA and Stuart Boardman, formerly of Samohi, pitched in relief.