Alex Gironda finally has his
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
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
“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
“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
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