SANTA MONICA – The Santa Monica High School (SaMoHi) men’s varsity baseball team brought a 10-game regular season winning streak into the first round of the CIF playoffs. But the season would end there as the Montebello Oilers eliminated the Vikings 9-3 on Friday.
The Vikings had to play catch up after falling behind 3-0 in the first inning. The runs never came.
“We weren’t able to take advantage of the runners we got on base and it hurt us today”, Coach Sheldon Phillip-Guide said.
The Vikings stranded 12 runners on base and left the bases loaded twice.
Andrew Mcritchie took the mound for the Vikings. Philip-Guide said he felt that Mcritchie being a senior and pitching well at home deserved a shot at the start.
Unfortunately, Mcritchie got off to a rocky start by walking the first batter on four straight balls, gave up a base hit and hit the next batter to load the bases. Senior Michael Aguilar then hit a line drive into left field to drive in two runs for the Oilers. Then, with Aguilar on first and senior Anthony Millan on third, the Oilers pulled off a sacrifice steal that brought Millan home safely for the Oilers.
SaMoHi came back in the second inning. Sophomore Trent Nelson hit a line drive to left field for a base hit, and David Tyre-Vigil managed to slide home just before the throw. Freshman Benny Arce came up later in the inning with one out and scored Lino Lares on a fielder’s choice.
With the score 3-2 going into the third inning, Mcritchie started it again by walking the first batter and Coach Phillip-Guide had seen enough. He brought in junior Albert Garcia to pitch. Garcia also started poorly. The Oilers scored four more runs and put the game out of reach.
“Montebello is a good team that didn’t make many mistakes,” Coach Philip-Guide said. “They were well coached and well prepared.”
Coach Philip-Guide added that he had a wealth of talent coming back next year and he would try to keep them together to play during the summer. Philip-Guide hopes this will provide a better start to the season to keep the Vikings from falling into a big hole like they did at the start this year.
Coach Phillip-Guide announced that Adam Padilla had been voted the MVP of the Ocean League and Matthew Stancil, Alex Turner, Andrew Mcritchie and David Tyre-vigil had been named first team all-league. Lino Lares, Albert Garcia and senior Mitch Herrera had been named to the second team all-league.