The end of the regular season for the Santa Monica Boys baseball team came down to a pair of games against rival Culver City for the Ocean League title. In the end, they would have to share.
Culver City took the first of two games in extra innings on May 11, edging the Vikings 3-1. Samohi senior pitcher Alonzo Gonzalez held the Centaurs to just one run in seven and two-thirds innings, while racking up 10 strikeouts. The Vikings had two men on in the bottom of the seventh with the game tied at 1-1, but were unable to capitalize, and the game went into extra innings.
The Centaurs took swift advantage of their extra at-bats and put two men in scoring position in the top of the eighth. An error in a throw to first sent both runners home, and Culver City walked away with sole possession of first place.
Not to be outdone, the Vikings roared back in a rematch on May 13 at Culver City. With the Ocean League title on the line, Samohi sophomore pitcher Adam Padilla shut down the Centaurs and added some offense as well, knocking in a solo home run in the sixth. The Vikings added two more in the seventh, and with the 3-0 win earned a share of the Ocean League title.
However, the top-seeding for the playoffs was not something Padilla could help. A coin toss decided Culver City would take first seed going into the CIF playoffs. The Vikings will start their run at the title on the road against Quartz Hills on Thursday.
Editor’s Note: By the time many of you are reading this, the Vikings will have already played Quartz Hills.
Mirror Contributing Writersports@smmirror.com