I got my first view Saturday of the new look in Santa Monica High baseball. I was quite impressed.
The changes from last year include new turf, new grass, new batting cages, many trees trimmed, an elevated scorers’ table behind home plate, music, a public address announcer revealing who is batting and a snack bar run by parents.
And, by the way, there’s a portable toilet near the stadium entrance. It wasn’t there last season but the money came from baseball fundraising.
Something else is different. After losing its first four games Samohi has won four of the last five. The 5-2 win Saturday over Palisades was significant because the Dolphins have won the Western League championship the last six years.
Instead of experimenting with his personnel, which is commonly done in non-league games, Samohi coach Sheldon Philip-Guide didn’t make any substitutions.
“We didn’t plan it that way. It’s just the way the game went,”said Philip-Guide.”The positions aren’t set and we’re going to need everybody.”
Alonzo Gonzalez pitched the entire seven innings, Julian Solomita caught the whole game, the infield consisted of first baseman Ethan Corn, second baseman Dax Bonney, shortstop Andrew Montinari and third baseman Nick Becerra.
Matt Stancil was in left field, Adam Padilla in center and Abraham Osuna in right.
The Designated Hitter was David Tyre-Vigil.
The lineup has one significant change from the pre-season plan. Centerfielder Mikey Smith, who was expected to be the leadoff man, began two weeks away for spring break.
Adam Padilla moved from left field to center.
Padilla, who hit his first home run of the season Wednesday in a 12-3 win at Knight High in Lancaster, made a diving catch to begin the fifth inning against Palisades.
Samohi, which lost at Westlake the previous week with costly mistakes, cut down on those miscues. But they didn’t cut them out entirely. Two Viking runners were thrown out at third base against Palisades due to careless play.
But Samohi’s defense was strong and there was timely hitting.
Bonney’s hit produced a 2-1 lead. Then Becerra singled in another run and another RBI hit by Bonney made it 4-1.
One inning was set up by Corn’s double down the left field line.
Palisades scored once but Tyre-Vigil hit a sacrifice fly for Samohi’s final run.
Gonzalez, working his longest stint of the season, retired the side in order in the seventh and completed the game requiring only 80 pitches.
Samohi will conclude March by hosting St. Francis Wednesday at 3:15, then will resume tournament competition. It’s first local appearance next momth will be against Crossroads April 9 at 7 p.m. at Clover Park.
Mirror Sports Editorsports@smmirror.com