South Kitsap Western senior team headed to state tourney

"Making it to state is nothing new to the South Kitsap Western Senior Little League team.After taking third place at state last year, Western had a lot of motivation to get back and win the whole thing.First, they had to get through SK Eastern in the district championship Sunday afternoon.The pressure was on Eastern, which had to not only beat Western once, but twice if they wanted to earn a trip to state.Western made a statement early, scoring three runs in the first inning.That gave pitcher Bret Wilkowski a cushion he never relinquished.Western added three more runs in the second inning, highlighted by run-scoring singles from Boya Quichocho and Wilkowski.Eastern cut the lead in half in the bottom of the inning by playing little ball to advance runners. Jeremy Vandenbos scored on a balk and Dustin Williams scored on a sacrifice fly from Nate Seitz.Chad Norman scored the third run and Eastern loaded the bases with two outs before Wilkowski got out of the jam by inducing Lance Schnorenberg into a groundout to Quichocho at shortstop.Eastern's only other threat came in the sixth inning, when they loaded the bases.But Western's defense proved too strong.On a soft grounder to the shortstop, Quichocho threw a bullet to catcher Zach Armenta to get a force out and the first out of the inning.Wilkowski finished off Eastern's rally attempt with a strikeout and groundout.Offensively, Western showed it was firing on all cylinders, but Eastern helped Western's cause with a multitude of errors.Only five of Western's 10 runs were earned.Wilkowski had three of the team's five runs batted in, including his two-run home run in the fourth inning, which extended Western's lead to 8-3.Quichocho added a run-scoring single and Ron Sulkosky scored Quichocho on a hard-hit double to conclude the team's scoring.Eastern tried to threaten in the bottom of the seventh, but Wilkowski struck out the first two batters and the defense recorded a 9-6-5-6 out on Chad Norman, who got stranded between second and third base.Manager Dan Nesseth said he was pleased with his team's performance, but said there is work to be done at state.We vowed to take first place (at state) this year, Nesseth said. We went 19-1 and didn't lost a game in the tournament, Nesseth said. Now we go to state and hopefully kick a little booty.Nesseth said the team's success is largely due to the three or four years the team has spent together.All these guys have stuck together, Nesseth said. They wanted to win and they just kept coming back year after year. You play three or four years together you're gonna be good. We'll be there (state), and we'll be ready."

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