Westside Baseball Teams Eye Playoff Berths
by Mitch Chortkoff
April 9 - 15, 2012
Non-league and tournament baseball games have largely been completed and now Westside high school teams are focusing on league play.
In the Ocean League Santa Monica and Culver City appear headed toward another showdown. Both have started with 2-0 league records.
Last season both teams won their first eight league games and reached the final week tied for first place. Santa Monica then won both games.
The ace pitcher for each team, Adam Padilla and Tyler Mark, return. Samohi’s Padilla outdueled Mark in the crucial game last season and Padilla was then named the Ocean League Most Valuable Player.
In other news, former Samohi pitcher Tyler Skaggs spent all of spring training with the Arizona Diamondbacks but at the end was optioned to Double-A Mobile.
At 20, he is considered a strong candidate to become a starting pitcher in the major leagues next season.
Skaggs is two years younger than Patrick Corbin, who came close to earning a Diamondbacks roster spot with his strong spring showing. However, Corbin was also sent to Mobile.
The Diamondbacks acquired both pitchers a year ago in the trade which sent Dan Haren to the Angels.
Crossroads, which has a proud baseball tradition, is trying to improve on a 6-6 record with no seniors on the roster.
A playoff berth is a logical goal even if the Roadrunners don’t challenge for the Alpha League championship.
The next four games are important – two against Campbell Hall and two against league favorite Paraclete.
St. Monica Coach Jack White has been on the job for many years, frequently with success.
However, the Mariners have a 1-15 record in 2012. In their latest games they went eight innings before losing to St. Paul, 2-1 and lost to Crean Lutheran of Irvine, 5-2.
Coach Walter Fujima’s Venice High team has a 3-2 record in Western League games. The Gondoliers took two games from Fairfax, split with Hamilton and lost to University.
New Roads’ highly-regarded team has a 6-3 record and completed its March play with a 14-0 victory over Vistamar of El Segundo.