Four league games against Santa Monica High’s primary challengers in the Ocean League will determine the success of the Vikings’ season.
Although Samohi has a 5-1 league record it has merely handled the league’s second division teams.
Included were wins over Morningside last week, 18-2 and 14-4.
Culver City and Beverly Hills are also 5-1. All three teams are expected to be chosen for the CIF playoffs but only the league champion will likely have a first round home game.
In this situation throughout the years coaches have been most concerned that the results of other games would determine the outcome, leaving them at the mercy of those games. But that’s not the case here as Samohi will be playing its challengers.
The games are Santa Monica at Beverly Hills on May 4, Beverly Hills at Santa Monica on May 6, Culver City at Santa Monica on May 11 and Santa Monica at Culver City on May 13.
Recognizing the importance of the games, Philip-Guide has changed his pitching plans.
Alonzo Gonzalez remains Samohi’s No. 1 starter, but Adam Padilla replaces Ethan Corn for the second game each week.
“It gives us control of our situation and I’m happy about that,” said Samohi coach Sheldon Philip-Guide.
Padilla has had two excellemt seasons at Samohi as an outfielder and part-time pitcher, but Philip-Guide has seemed reluctant to commit to the sophomore as a regular starting pitcher.
However, Padilla pitched a non-league victory over Crossroads and then replaced Corn for the nrext league game.
Coaches will sometimes keep their options open for most of the season but then make a move that gives the team the best chance of winning important games.
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