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PV's Ben Davidson makes a throw from third base against Peninsula at the end of the 2018 season. Davidson is one of 19 seniors on new-coach Alex Morales' roster. (Photos by Kelly Walsh)

Alex Morales has seen his share of baseball from both the Peninsula and Palos Verdes dugouts. 

Morales began his coaching stint on the Hill behind Evan Fujinaga before spending the last two at Peninsula under Brian Bowles. 

"It was not an easy decision to leave Peninsula, as the last two years were a lot of fun and very memorable," Morales said. "When the PV opportunity came about, it just made too much sense." 

It's not Morales' first time running the show: he held the reigns at North Torrance High in 2004. Morales is no stranger on the PV campus like he was at Peninsula: he's taught Spanish at PV since 2009. 

Much has changed in his life since his first head coaching stint. Morales now has two children, and he knows that being a coach is very similar to being a parent. 

"We're in the kid business, so patience is crucial," Morales said. "Patience, understanding and communication." 

PV finished 18-11-1 overall in 2018, including a 6-3 Bay League finish that earned third place. It's season ended in the CIF Southern Section Division 3 playoffs to eventual champion Marantha. 

While he is no stranger to the program and its players, Morales knows there is a learning process from top to bottom. 

"It's crucial for me to remember that I can't/won't be able to do everything I want here in one season," Morales said. "For our team and our program, I want to make sure I have communicated thoroughly and often with players, parents, administration, alumni and all stakeholders." 

PV boasts a roster consisting of 19 seniors, but Morales feels the area that the Sea Kings must grow up fast is on the pitching mound. 

"We have a lot of guys returning, and a lot of them have varsity experience," Morales said. "The exception is on the mound. We have some good arms and a lot of different looks, but also a lot of inexperienced arms." 

Morales will lean on Al Walsh to lead the pack, with Aaron Davies coming off a strong winter ball season. Jack Miller and Brian King have limited varsity experience, and Morales knows such is the case for the rest of the pitchers on the roster. 

"We have a lot of pitchers that haven't pitched varsity innings mixed with other players that can pitch, but haven't thrown in a couple of seasons," Morales said. 

Offensively, PV has not hit a home run over the past two seasons, but Morales feels there are a few guys throughout the lineup that can provide size and power, mixed with a few speedsters to create headaches on the base paths. 

"We're hoping to combine speed and power in our lineup and make other teams uncomfortable when facing us," Morales said. 

PV will square off against three of the four Torrance schools on its nonleague schedule (South, West, Torrance), and play El Segundo three times. But what matters most to the Sea Kings is Bay League play. 

Defending league champion Mira Costa is scheduled for March 20 and 22, with Redondo scheduled April 10 and 12. PV will close the season with a home-and-home showdown with Peninsula, the second of which will be played at Loyola Marymount University. 

"It's a tough league, and anything can happen at any time," Morales said. "We have a lot of talented players and teams in the Bay League. We have to be lucky, good and take advantage of opportunities."

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