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Junior Legion team ends season
"For the first four innings it was impossible to determine which was the better baseball team.But then a combination of poor hitting for the South Kitsap Junior American Legion team and timely hitting for Centralia in the final three innings led to SK's 7-4 season-ending loss in the first round of the tri-districts tournament Wednesday at South Kitsap High School.Tied 4-4, SK's Jeremy Hunt and Daniel Horne led off with back-to-back singles. Cleanup hitter Josh Meeker stepped to the plate with an opportunity to knock in a pair of runs.A wild pitch from Centralia pitcher Adam MacKenzie--who just entered the game--allowed the runners to advance 90 feet.Meeker flew out to the first baseman, Joel Foreman grounded out to the pitcher and Rick Wilkle followed suit with another ground ball to the pitcher to end the threat.Centralia took advantage of SK's misfortune and made them pay in the sixth and seventh innings.SK reliever Silas Quine loaded the bases after giving up a double, sacrifice bunt, and back-to-back walks.The infield played in on the grass ready for a play at home plate.Meeker, at shortstop, got his wish with a hard hit grounder. But he bobbled the ball and was unable to make the throw to the plate, but he managed to throw to first base to record the second out.Quine induced a groundout to Meeker to end the inning.SK was unable to counter in the bottom of the inning but the game remained close until Centralia added a pair of insurance runs in the seventh inning.With two outs and runners on first and second, Centralia's Todd Kelley laced a two-run double off of Quine to give Centralia a 7-4 lead.SK was looking to make one last attempt to keep the season alive. Hunt reached first base on a fielding error from third baseman Ryan Gueunther but MacKenzie induced two flyouts and a groundout to end the game and SK's season.SK manager Ron Yingling said his team was just unable to capitalize on scoring opportunities.When we had guys on second and third with nobody out and didn't score anybody that was it, Yingling said. And we only ended up with just six hits. We had a couple of chances but sometimes it can end quickly.The team finished with a 19-15 record but because of their youth they should all be back next year ready to improve.Yingling said the team will have workouts in September even though there are no games until next summer.Yingling said he was pleased with the season and said the team's performance at the wooden bat tournament in early July was the season highlight.That's when this team came together and really gelled, he said. We played some good ball afterward of course."