Baseball: Weather has been South Kitsap's most formidable foe

SK pitcher Kellen Traxel takes aim against a Belllarmine batter in action last week. - Jeff Rhodes/Staff Photo
SK pitcher Kellen Traxel takes aim against a Belllarmine batter in action last week.
— image credit: Jeff Rhodes/Staff Photo

He pauses momentarily in reflection.

But South Kitsap baseball coach Jim Fairweather has no answer. He cannot remember a game this spring that actually was played on its originally scheduled date with the exception of the season opener.

This week has been no different with games Monday and Wednesday against Central Kitsap rained out. Fairweather said his team has practiced outside only seven times this season, and coupled with his team’s inexperience, he is “happy” with how they have performed.

“If things play out the way they should, we’re going to have a one-game playoff with Gig Harbor to see who the league champion is,” he said.

The Class 4A Narrows League playoffs already have been pushed back to Tuesday to accommodate rainout makeup games. But given the unprecedented number of rainouts, Fairweather is planning for the possibility of the league tournament being skipped. In that scenario, teams would be seeded based on their finish in the Narrows into the West Central District Tournament, which begins May 10.

That could be detrimental to the Wolves (10-2 overall, 10-2 league), who were tied for second place with Olympia (12-5, 10-2), but do not own the tiebreaker. But South can finish no worse than second if it wins its final two games against CK (9-5, 8-4).

If South accomplishes that and Olympia splits its two games versus Gig Harbor, there would be a one-game playoff between the Wolves and the Bears to determine the league champion.

Given those scheduling possibilities, Fairweather said he does not think the Narrows playoffs will be played.

Fairweather said he would look to schedule a game before districts if that happens, perhaps against one of the five nonleague teams the Wolves did not play because of rainouts. He said he would prefer to play North Kitsap rather than another school his team might see in the playoffs.

“Now I just go shopping,” Fairweather said. “We game play a game that’s somewhat meaningful, get everyone in and tune up a little bit.”

A top-three seed out of the Narrows is significant because that means South only would need to win its first districts game to secure a state-playoff berth. While Fairweather relishes that scenario, he is less thrilled about the playoff bracket. None of the games at districts will be held at a Narrows school. But Fairweather said the Narrows champion could face Kentwood as the South Puget Sound League’s fourth seed. That game would be played at Kent Memorial, which is the Conquerors’ home field.

“I don’t know who’s fighting for us over there,” Fairweather said. “I just think the SPSL runs the show right now. I would be up for making our own district … if that’s the way the SPSL wants to do that.

“We’re slappies. They think they’re that much better than we are. Now they’re even loading the table more by putting all of the playoff sites in their backyard. Nobody crosses this bridge, ever. We could go up to the fairgrounds and play.”

Fairweather said it will be just another challenge for his team.

“I like our chances,” he said. “I love these kids. They have been as resilient and as adaptable as they could be with this situation. They just deal with it.”

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