A year makes a big difference.
One year ago, after Culver City and Santa Monica Highs each won their first eight Ocean League baseball games they settled the league championship in two contests.
Santa Monica won both games and Culver settled for second place.
On Tuesday, in this week’s similar showdown, Culver City won Tuesday’s game on Santa Monica’s field, 7-6.
The teams were scheduled to play Thursday at Culver City, but the result wasn’t known at press time.
Tuesday’s outcome assures the Centaurs of finishing, at worst, with the same league record as the Vikings. In that case a coin flip would determine who is declared the league champion for the purpose of seedings for the upcoming CIF playoffs.
Both teams will make the playoffs as the Ocean League is annually granted three berths.
Culver scored in the first inning when Daniel Hennessy walked and then scored on an error. The Centaurs added two runs in the second, highlighted by catcher Jon Kocker’s triple.
Culver entered the ninth inning with a 7-4 lead. Santa Monica scored twice but couldn’t get the equalizer.
In defeat. Adam Padilla pitched a complete game for Santa Monica. He was the league’s MVP last season.
Tat was the toughest game of the year,” said Culver City coach Rick Prieto.
The Centaurs played several highly-regarded teams in non-league contests and have an 18-8 overall record.