Baseball: Wolves earn two starting lineup spots, Coach of the Year


It was difficult to gauge expectations for South Kitsap’s baseball program entering the season.The Wolves had little experience on the mound and a lineup mostly comprised of juniors. Despite that, South finished tied second in the Class 4A Narrows League and upset the state’s second-ranked team, Tahoma, in the West Central District Tournament to advance to the state playoffs.The result was two starters and three honorable mention performers on the 2010 All-Kitsap County Baseball team as voted by the sports editors of the Kitsap News Group. That includes the Port Orchard Independent, the Bremerton Patriot/Central Kitsap Reporter, North Kitsap Herald and the Bainbridge Review.

2011 All-Kitsap County Baseball TeamP — Christopher Campbell, Olympic, senior: Campbell was not only the best player on his team, he’s also one of the top all-around athletes in the Olympic League, coach Nate Andrews said. The Trojans’ standout, who has an invitation to walk on next season at the University of Washington, led Olympic with five saves. He totaled a 0.31 ERA and struck out 42 batters in 22 1/3 innings on the mound. Opposing hitters were .175 against Campbell. He also hit .435 and had 30 hits and 25 RBI.

P — TJ Reitan, North Kitsap, senior: Reitan was among a deep crop of pitchers in the North Kitsap School District this year. He finished with a 6-1 record and a 1.48 ERA, while striking out 21 batters in 28 innings. Offensively, Reitan had a .385 batting average and 13 RBI.

P — Alex Smith, North Kitsap, senior: Smith combined with Reitan to give the Vikings a formidable combination on the mound. He finished with a 5-1 record and a 2.72 ERA, while striking out 32 batters in 36 innings. Offensively, Smith had a .458 batting average, two home runs and 13 RBI.

P — Nick Torento, Kingston, senior, pitcher: Coach Scott McKay said Torrento’s pitching was the Bucs’ biggest strength this season. He finished with a 8-1 record and a 1.05 ERA this season. Torrento also struck out 35 batters. Offensively, he had a .362 batting average, one home run and 15 RBI.

C — Nick Benish, North Kitsap, senior: Benish has been one of the cornerstones of the Vikings’ program. He finished the season with a .491 batting average, four home runs and 19 RBI to help NK to the Olympic League title.

1B — Mike Nelson, South Kitsap, junior: Nelson, who hit third on the Wolves’ state-playoff squad, moved to first base after mostly catching as a sophomore. He hit a team-best .523 with 12 doubles, five home runs and 25 RBI. Despite his power production, Nelson only struck out five times.“Anytime anyone pitched to him, he hit it hard,” South coach Jim Fairweather said. “We counted on him for a lot of our offense and he came through.”

2B — Tanner Romo, South Kitsap, senior: Romo served as the Wolves’ lead-off hitter finished with a .375 batting average, two home runs and 10 RBI. He also only committed two errors. Romo plans to play next year at Everett Community College.“He’s a catalyst,” Fairweather said. “He’s fiery and he wants to win.”

3B — Brett McDonald, Central Kitsap, senior: The Cougars missed playing in the Class 4A state tournament, but McDonald led the squad through a tough Narrows League schedule, which included Olympia, Gig Harbor and South Kitsap high schools. McDonald hit .417 and had a .453 on-base percentage. He finished with 25 hits, eight RBI and 11 runs for CK.

SS — Zac Smit, North Kitsap, senior: Smit stood out at a position, which included Olympic’s Patrick Middleton, that arguably was the strongest in the Olympic League. Smit, who signed with Grand View University, finished with a .420 batting average.

OF — Josh Kreifels, Central Kitsap, senior: Kreifels finished with a .400 batting average and a .486 on-base percentage. The Cougars’ standout also had 24 hits, 13 RBI, 19 runs and a home run. Kreifels plans to play next year at Olympic College.

OF — Theo Robinson, Bremerton, sophomore: Robinson helped lead Bremerton’s resurgence, and despite still missing the postseason, the Knights relied on his performances at the plate to win games. Robinson hit .388 with a .482 on-base percentage. In addition, he had 19 hits, 12 RBI and 12 runs.

OF — Joe Valley, Klahowya, senior: The Eagles struggled for most of the season with Valley providing the lone bright spot in the lineup. He had a breakout year, hitting .390 with a .419 on-base percentage. Valley also racked up 23 hits, 15 RBI, 14 runs and six home runs.

Coach — Jim Fairweather, South Kitsap: The Wolves have lacked a healthy, overpowering starter since Brad Johnson in 2007. That left Fairweather to again mix-and-match pitchers and a lineup devoid of seniors who signed with major colleges. In addition, South was limited to only a handful of outdoor practices because of inclement weather during the spring. Despite those challenges, the Wolves were strong defensively and produced enough offensively to reach the Class 4A state tournament for a third time in the last four years. South finished tied for Gig Harbor for second place behind Olympia with a 11-3 league record and were 13-7-1 overall.

Honorable mentions:

UTIL Robbie Ackerley, Bainbridge, junior; SS Spencer Hogger, Bainbridge, sophomore; OF Matt Noll, Bremerton, sophomore; SS Kaden Tomlinson, Bremerton, sophomore; OF Alec Anderson, Central Kitsap, sophomore; SS Josh Sontag, Central Kitsap, junior; 1B George Marinan, Kingston, junior; 3B Richie Sander, Kingston, junior; C Curtis Wildung, Kingston, senior; SS Patrick McGuire, Klahowya, senior; 1B Steffen Jeffcoat, North Kitsap, senior; 3B Zane Minder, North Kitsap, senior; OF Alex Nettleton, North Kitsap, senior; SS Patrick Middleton, Olympic, senior; 1B Joe Stevick, Olympic, senior; C Alex Sablan, South Kitsap, junior; SS Vince Sablan, South Kitsap, junior; P Kellen Traxel, South Kitsap, sophomore.

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