When West Los Angeles College brought back baseball in 2008 following a 21-year absence one reason was that it could draw players from Santa Monica.
That’s because Santa Monica College, which dropped its baseball program in 1994, had not restored it. West LA figured it would be the only game in town on the Westside
That seems to be the case as WLA Coach Bob Grant has nine players on its 2009 roster who come from Santa Monica schools.
Returning from last year’s WLA team are Stuart Boardman and Jose Campos (Santa Monica High), David Vibiano and Shotaro Yamada (New Roads) and David White (St. Monica).
Freshmen are Paul Salazar, Garret Ramos and Zach Rodriguez (Santa Monica) and Eric Scott (New Roads).
Former Santa Monica High head coach Kevin Brockway returns as Grant’s top assistant.
Several of the newcomers figure to play significant roles as West LA tries to improve on its 10-31 record.
Rodriguez is expected to upgrade the shortstop position which was a weakness last season. Rodriguez was steady for Samohi’s Ocean League championship team.
Salazar could be one of West LA’s prominent starting pitchers following an outstanding career at Samohi. He was a reliever as a junior who became a solid starter the next year.
Ramos will compete to be West LA’s regular catcher.
Among the returnees Vibiano and Ricky Guitterez (University High) were starting outfielders and Kesley Konda (Sao Paulo, Brazil) was West LA’s best pitcher.
Three Culver City High graduates, returnee Alex Coons and freshmen Jacob Blodgett and Jack Maeshiro, are expected to bolster the pitching staff.
West LA plays home games on its campus field in Culver City.