Samohi's Alex Gironda Hurls Playoff No-Hitter

Vikings's senior goes the distance in first round CIF win

Saturday, 24 May 2014, 5:29:00 AM

Mirror Staff

Santa Monica High pitcher Alex Gironda pitches a no-hitter against West Covina in the Vikings' 5-0 CIF Southern Section Division III first round playoff game.
Arlene Karno
Santa Monica High pitcher Alex Gironda pitches a no-hitter against West Covina in the Vikings' 5-0 CIF Southern Section Division III first round playoff game.

Alex Gironda finally has his

no-hitter. 

Behind the senior pitcher's 86-pitch,

eight-strikeout, no-hit performance, the Santa Monica High School Vikings

defeated the West Covina High School Bulldogs in the first round of the CIF

Southern Section Division III playoffs 5-0, Friday afternoon.

This is the second time Gironda

has taken a no hit bid into the seventh inning his high school carrier. The

first came last season against the rival Culver City High School Centaurs when

a hit with one out in the inning broke up the no hitter.

"I felt like I had some

unfinished business,” Gironda said of his previous no-hit bid.

The fourth-seeded Vikings (26-4)

took control of the game early scoring all five runs in the first three

innings.

Bulldog pitcher Alex Carrillo

looked shaky in the first two frames allowing three hits and a walk. However,

he did not receive help from his defense, which committed all three of its

errors when Carrillo needed it most.

Carrillo settled down after the third

inning and completed the game, allowing only two hits and a stolen base over

his final three innings of work. However, the Bulldogs could not solve the Cal

Poly SLO bound Gironda.   

The only hiccups that kept

Gironda from a bid at a perfect game was an error by third baseman Rudy Olmero

and a hit batsman in the second inning.

The Bulldogs’ fate was sealed in

the third inning, when Viking catcher Matt Kassowitz and first baseman Tommy

Gutierrez hit back-to-back doubles to drive in the fifth run for the Vikings.

The Viking bench was not aware of

the no-hit bid until the seventh and with the end so near, no one wanted to

jinx it.

“In the seventh [Viking second

baseman] Aakeem [Allahja] kept saying ‘lay out for stuff, lay out for stuff’

that was the sign he had a no hitter, but you don’t want to jinx it,” Viking

center fielder Freddie Norris said.

Viking coach Kurt Schwengel was

not surprised that Gironda was able to hold the Bulldogs hitless.

“He’s thrown that quality of a

game-three or four times this year. I’m surprised it’s not his third or fourth

no-hitter of the year, but to have a no hitter in the first round of the

playoffs is pretty amazing,” Schwengel said.

After the game, the team was

optimistic about its chances of reaching the Division III finals at Dodger

Stadium.

“Where does the team go? Dodger

Stadium,” Gironda said.

Gironda’s no hitter was one of

four thrown in first round play Friday.

The Vikings will travel to

Rolling Hills Estates to take on the Palos Verdes Peninsula High School Panthers

Tuesday.

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