South Kitsap alums making their mark with BlueJackets

It certainly didn’t take long for Josh Meeker to make an impression.

The Tacoma Cardinal infielder and 2002 South Kitsap graduate played against the ’Jackets in Tacoma’s 4-2 loss on opening night Thursday, 4-3 win on Friday and 6-3 loss Saturday, contributing two runs and an RBI in the three-game series.

But on Sunday, Meeker found himself in the Kitsap blue and gold he’d just played against.

Meeker, who played for Olympic College in the spring, was called up from the Cardinals, a feeder team for the BlueJackets, just in time to help Kitsap win 5-3 at Kitsap Fairgrounds Ballfields.

Meeker said while he doesn’t know how long he’ll be up with the squad — the BlueJackets are still waiting for several players to arrive — he’s still grateful for the opportunity he’s getting now.

“I guess they needed some help today,” Meeker said. “I’m going down to Wenatchee with the Cardinals and I might be back up with the BlueJackets in Bellingham. I’m pretty excited about it, though.”

Meeker, who had teamed up with former South Kitsap teammate Adam Siler on the Cardinals, went 1-4 in his Kitsap debut, with two runs scoring on a shot he hit to second base in the first that resulted in an error.

While he enjoys playing with the ’Jackets, he said he’s also enjoying the opportunity to reunite with Siler on the ball field.

“It’s a fun time,” Meeker said. “It’s a little bit easier to come together when you know each other.”

Siler, a BlueJacket last year hitting .191 with 7 RBI in 26 games, exploded with Saint Martin’s University this spring, tearing up the Great Northwest Athletic Conference to the tune of a .345 average (eighth in the GNAC) and 41 RBI (fifth) in 45 games. He won’t be eligible to suit up for Kitsap this year due to the fact that his coach at SMU, Joe Dominiak, is a BlueJacket coach this summer, per NCAA regulations.

While he said he’s a little bit disappointing as a former ’Jacket, he said he’s just grateful for the opportunity to play.

“Maybe a little bit,” Siler said. “But I just wanted to play summer ball. We’re playing the same competition. It’s not really any drop-off.”

Also excited to team up with Meeker once again, he said it was a friendly reunion.

“I hadn’t seen him in four years,” Siler said. “I was excited.”

Both SK grads also said they’re enjoying the time saved by playing locally, also allowing friends and relatives the opportunity to play.

“It’s great,” Siler said. “We don’t have to travel. I’ve got my family that comes to every game here, friends. All that good stuff.”

Kitsap hosts the PIL’s Skagit Eagles today 7 p.m. at Kitsap Fairgrounds Balllfields.

BlueJackets Wraps

Thursday, June 8

Kitsap defeated Tacoma 4-2 on its opening day in a rain-shortened seven-inning contest at Kitsap Fairgrounds Ballfields, the first of five home games to open the season. Kitsap’s Brett Kaluza (University of Washington) went 4-4 with an RBI while Stephon Herzog (Charleston Southern University) went 2-4 with a run and 2 RBI to lead the charge. Kyle Cline (Missouri Valley College) pitched six strong innings allowing one earned run and just two hits, striking out four. Joe Hagen picked up the save. A collision at the plate sent BlueJacket first baseman Brian Burmester to the hospital with a concussion. He may be out up to two weeks.

Friday, June 9

After trailing 2-0 to the Cardinals for much of the game, Kitsap (1-1) took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the eighth on a 2-run double by Herzog. Seth Foley (Olympic College) pitched a gem for Tacoma, allowing just one unearned run in five innings. Ted Gjeldum (Lafayette University) was equally impressive, giving up just one earned run in six innings. After Hagen and John Fugett (Lafayette) worked two scoreless innings, a pitch got up and away from closer Mike Tachell (Missouri Valley; Peninsula High School) for a game-winning two-run homer by Tacoma catcher Jake Owens. Tacoma won 4-3.

Saturday, June 10

The BlueJackets (2-1) wasted no time in their rubber match against the Cardinals, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning in cruising to a 6-3 win. Joash Brodin (New Mexico State) went 2-3 with 2 runs and an RBI. Herzog was 2-4 with an RBI. North Kitsap grad Kyle Howe (Columbia Basin Community College) worked six innings in the win, giving up just three runs on four hits. Tachell bounced back with the save.

Sunday, June 11

With sun shining down, the BlueJackets polished off opening weekend with a 5-3 win over the Everett Merchants of the Pacific International League. Kitsap (3-1) scored four runs in the first two innings before Everett closed the game to 4-3 in the fifth. An insurance run by Brodin in the seventh would lock up a painful win, as a total of seven players were hit by eight pitches in the game. Kitsap’s Danny Meier was hit twice. Aaron Bronson (Green River Community College) pitched six innings in the win while Tachell earned his second consecutive save.

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