Sheldon Philip-Guide, the new Santa Monica High baseball coach, has seen some of the Vikings’ players in action since he recently accepted the job.
“It looks like we’ll have good pitching and defense,” he says of the 2010 team. “We’ll see about the hitting.”
It’s been the off-season since Philip-Guide was hired, but he’s watched the Santa Monica American Legion A and B teams play. Both have Samohi players.
The A team finished third in its league and was the only team to defeat first place Culver City, which went 16-1. The B team qualified for the playoffs.
Philip-Guide knew he’s inheriting a Samohi team with five returning pitchers — Alonzo Gonzalez, Andrew Montinari, Adam Padilla, Ethan Corn and Noah Tillipman. He’s quickly learned that two pitchers from the junior varsity, Andrew McRichey and Brendon Hirschberger, will contend for the staff too.
Philip-Guide calls Hirschberger “a force when he’s settled in.” He says he’s impressed with McRichey’s stuff and composure.
Without naming names, Philip-Guide says the defense looks solid. He’s talking about new players because the entire Viking infield consisted of seniors.
Outgoing coach Rob Duron also said both McRichey and Hirschberger were making progress and would likely contend for varsity pitching berths next season.
Philip-Guide hasn’t been able to secure early season tournament berths yet but is working on the 2010 schedule. It’s the early season games where pitchers gain experience and compete to be the two starters in league games.
The two who emerged this season won’t be back. Tyler Skaggs, the 40th selection in the recent major league draft, is choosing between professional baseball and a scholarship to Cal State Fullerton. Logan Whitchurch is headed for Berkeley and the University of California