Several players are about ready to join the Santa Monica High baseball team, and the influx of talent will give new head coach Rob Duron flexibility in deciding upon his lineups.
Alex Kovacs and Charlie Perris are scheduled to come out following their strong contributions to Samohi’s championship soccer team. Shortstop Zach Rodriguez and outfielder Skylar Pascal are recovering from injuries and catcher/outfielder Vince Lawrence is likely to soon play for the first time this season.
After winning its first two games Samohi lost the last two – a home game against Notre Dame High on Wednesday, March 5, 8-3, and a 3-0 loss at Newbury Park two days later.
Both defeats came against left-handed pitchers, but Duron said he doesn’t expect that to be a season-long trend.
“We can field competitive lineups stacked with either right-handed or left-handed batters,” he said.
Samohi had another game scheduled – against CIF powerhouse Crespi High on Saturday, March 8 – but it was cancelled due to a lack of communication with game officials. Both teams were ready in the morning and scouts from seven major league teams were present, but the umpires had been told game time was 1 p.m. Afternoon conflicts then sent everyone home.
It’s been a turbulent beginning for Duron, who took over the program when Kevin Brockway left to become an assistant coach at West Los Angeles College. With the Samohi soccer team sharing the field and advancing through the playoffs, baseball practice time was significantly reduced.
“Considering everything, we’re about where I expected,” said Duron. “I hope we’ll be a lot better by the end of March.”
Samohi will attempt to defend its Ocean League championship, and one constant so far has been strong pitching. Starters Paul Salazar and Tyler Skaggs both have had two outstanding outings and senior Will Dickinson, who didn’t pitch last season, has also done well twice.
Samohi is scheduled for three games this week, culminating with a home non-league meeting with El Segundo Saturday March 15 at 11 a.m.