Wolves show complete look in early victory

Before the season, South Kitsap coach Jim Fairweather wasn’t sure his team could shut down opponents on the mound or dominate them at the plate.

They did a little of both Wednesday.

Drew Saddler and Kyle Kemper pitched five shutout innings and the offense produced nine hits as the Wolves earned a 10-0 non-league win against Spanaway Lake.

Saddler, a senior who pitched just six innings of varsity ball last season, is one of several pitchers vying for rotation spots. South’s top starter, Brad Johnson, was declared academically ineligible before the season and No. 2 starter Collin Monagle is out — possibly for the entire season — because of weakness in his shoulder.

With six strikeouts in three innings, Saddler already surpassed his total (five) from a year ago. He struck out the side in the first and didn’t allow a hit.

Saddler threw 20 of 32 pitches for strikes in the first two innings, but that ratio fell to nine of 20 in the third.

He finished with two walks.

“That was really important that he had a good start and he got after them,” Fairweather said. “I don’t think he was all bad in the third — he just lost it a little bit. But the important thing was he got it back.”

Fairweather said Saddler was on a pitch limit and he reached it in the third inning.

“My arm started to get tired and my body just tried to compensate,” Saddler said. “I tried to figure out different ways to throw the ball faster. You try and compensate.”

Instead of throwing harder, Saddler tried to mix in a 12-to-6 curveball that helped him retire the first five hitters he faced.

He went to a 3-0 count before striking out leadoff hitter Darius Byers and then got Ethan Guthrie to pop up to end the third inning.

“That’s my favorite pitch,” Saddler said. “Whenever I’m down in the count, I want my catcher to give me a curveball. That’s a pitch I can get every time.”

The Wolves’ offense took care of the rest. It only took South (2-0) three pitches to score when leadoff hitter Tyler Sartor hit a triple to center and then he scored when the shortstop overthrew the third baseman.

Catcher Todd Dalrymple later singled to score third baseman Brady Steiger, who doubled in the previous at-bat.

“(Sartor is) a catalyst for sure, and that’s one reason why he’s a captain,” Fairweather said. “He leads by example, he’s also pretty fiery and energetic. That’s a good guy to have in that spot.”

South was even more productive in the second inning when it quickly loaded the bases.

Two runs scored on a misplayed ground ball by the shortstop off designated hitter Ricky Johnson’s bat and the Wolves extended their lead to 5-0 when left fielder Charlie Hough singled off Spanaway Lake starter Jesse Pangelinan.

The Wolves drew three walks off Pangelinan in his three innings, including one by Dalrymple, who became the third South leadoff batter in as many innings to reach base in the third.

Junior second baseman Ghryn Hobson and Chris Sizemore followed with singles, the latter which scored Dalrymple. Hobson scored on a ground out and Sizemore later followed on a wild pitch to give South an 8-0 lead.

“Everyone’s hitting the ball well and doing their job,” Hobson said. “We’re moving runners and scoring them.”

South wrapped up its scoring when the left-handed Steiger, who has committed to Washington State, hit a home run off reliever D.J. Konkel in the fourth and pinch-hitter Melvin Fingarson singled to score Hobson, who went 2 for 3, in the fifth.

Kyle Kemper allowed a pair of walks and hits in two innings of relief to close the game.

The win followed the Wolves’ 7-0 season-opening victory Monday against Bremerton. Sartor went 2 for 3 with 2 runs, a double and a triple in that game.

“We’ve put up 17 runs in two games,” Dalrymple said. “The offense is there.”

South Kitsap 10, Spanaway Lake 0 (5 innings)

Spanaway Lake 000 00 — 0 2 2

South Kitsap 233 11 — 10 9 0

Jesse Pangelinan, DJ Konkel (4) and Aaron Frank. Drew Saddler, Kyle Kemper (4) and Todd Dalrymple.

W-Saddler. L-Pangelinan.

Multiple hits—Brady Steiger (SK) 2-3 2B HR RBI, Ghryn Hobson (SK) 2-3 SB.

South Kitsap 7, Bremerton 0 (5 innings)

Bremerton 000 00 — 0 1 1

South Kitsap 005 20 — 7 5 0

Kopt, Chad and Osborne. Adam Douty, Scott McGallian (4) and Shawn Stayton, Todd Dalrymple (4).

W-Douty. L-Kopt.

Multiple hits—Tyler Sartor (SK) 2-3 2B 3B 2 runs.

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