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Silent sticks stifle South
"Losing to a better team is one thing, but coach Elton Goodwin cannot fathom how his South Kitsap High School baseball team is finding a way to lose winnable games.SK (1-2 Narrows League, 2-2 overall) fell to Peninsula 4-3 at SK's Buck Gehring Field Wednesday afternoon in a Narrows League Bridge Division matchup.It was Peninsula's first-ever win against SK, but more importantly the loss puts the Wolves in third place behind Capital (3-0) and Stadium (2-0), and ties them with Peninsula (1-2).Much like their 7-3 loss to Capital in which all runs were unearned, three of Peninsula's four runs were also unearned.Chris Muno's homerun off of SK's Boya Quichocho was Peninsula's only earned run.SK had an opportunity to break the game open in the bottom of the first inning.Ryan Sage led off with walk and two batters later Dominic Rio advanced him to third base on a single. Rio stole second base to put runners on first and second with one out.But back-to-back strikeouts by Shane Starkweather and Travis Vetters ended the threat.SK managed a run on a Peninsula error in the bottom of the second to knot the score at 1-1 but SK's shoddy defense in the third inning allowed Peninsula to regain the lead.With one out and runners on first and second from back-to-back walks to Jordan Ramos and Rob Jamison.With two outs Muno stepped to the plate looking to break the game open but Quichocho got the groundball he needed to end the inning until shortstop Josh Showers watched the ball go under his legs.The error scored Ramos from second base and advanced Jamison to second base.Tim Weber followed with a single to shallow right field, which was short enough to keep Jamison from scoring around from second, but the ball got past Tyler Mayfield, enabling Jamison to score and give Peninsula a 3-1 lead.Quichocho ended Peninsula's run with a strikeout of Casey Rushton.I told these guys they need to start sucking it up, Goodwin said. We're not playing South Kitsap baseball. We're finding way sot lose instead of finding ways to win.The Wolves mounted a mini-comeback in the fourth inning.Mayfield's run-scoring triple in deep center field scored Showers from second base to pull SK within one run. Joe Olson's wild pitch scored Mayfield to tie the game 3-3.After a Sage walk, Peninsula brought in reliever Mike Ball to face Brandon Nickerson.Nickerson walked and Rio walked to load the bases with two outs.Up stepped Starkweather but he struck out swinging to end the threat.We're not a hitting team right now and that's killing us, Goodwin said. We're not coming through and if you don't do that then you gotta play solid defense.In the sixth inning Muno, who hit a lead-off single, reached third base on a Weber single, and scored the go-ahead run off a Vetters wild pitch.Vetters went on to strike out the side, but SK's bats continued its silence, failing to record a hit.While Peninsula's No. 2, 3, 4, and 5 batters went 5-12, SK's went 1-12.Quichocho battled with his control, but he and Vetters combined to give up only five hits and one earned run.SK's pitchers will be stretched thin the next 10 days, with SK playing six games in 10 days.The Wolves host Anacortes today at noon, followed by three straight games against Central Kitsap (home), Gig Harbor (home), and Lincoln April 2-4.Goodwin said the pitching isn't a concern.I'm not displeased with our pitching, Goodwin said. The pitching hasn't been terrible. It's good enough to win. We're just not playing baseball right now and (the team) knows it.***The SK fastpitch team improved its Narrows League record to 2-2 after shelling Peninsula 14-4. The Wolves (4-4 overall) scored 12 of its 14 runs in the second inning.Carly Siems went four innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and striking out three batters.SK's bats came alive with 16 hits, and the defense committed only one error.Seven different batters had one or more runs batted in and five players had two or more hits.Sara Brown had the lone extra base hit, a double, to go with two singles.Ashley Robinson added three singles and two runs batted in.Kelsey Herstad knocked in three runs on two hits, Siems and Dianna Pike each added two runs batted in.The Wolves have 12 days off before they host Gig Harbor April 11. "