Wolves' mojo returning
June 12, 2008 · Updated 2:09 PM
"Elton Goodwin's earlier frustration has evolved into a cautious optimism.The South Kitsap High School baseball coach is finally watching his team put all the elements together.After opening the season 2-2 while giving up 13 unearned runs, SK has allowed only one earned run during its current four-game winning streak.A combination of strong pitching, stellar defense and just enough offense have propelled SK to a 6-2 overall record, 4-2 in the Narrows League.While it was spring break for many, it was all business for the Wolves - winners of three games in three consecutive days.After its 11-1 win against Central Kitsap, SK followed notched back-to-back wins against Narrows League foes Gig Harbor (5-2) and Lincoln (8-2).On Wednesday in Tacoma, SK enjoyed a five-run third inning against Lincoln's ace Derrick Brasier to blow the game open.Up 6-0, Lincoln came back with two runs in the bottom of the third inning.Lincoln's Sean Thornton smacked a two-run home run off Kris Cleaver.Despite the home run, Cleaver pitched a gem, striking out seven batters in five innings before Jason Stuart pitched two shutout innings in relief.Tyler Mayfield continued his hot hitting, going 2-4 with two runs batted in.Shane Starkweather smacked a run-scoring double, and Travis Vetters added an RBI.Lincoln committed six errors compared to SK's two errors.Going into the Lincoln game SK was coming off a close win against Gig Harbor at home Tuesday.The Tides put pressure on the Wolves early, taking a 2-0 lead in the second inning off of struggling pitcher Boya Quichocho.Vetters took the mound the next inning and gave up only four hits in five scoreless innings.The Wolves captured the lead in the third with three runs thanks to aggressive base running and clutch hitting.Mayfield led off with a single and advanced to second base on a steal and third base on a passed ball. Quichocho knocked in Mayfield with a bloop single up the middle. Quichocho stole second and reached third on a fielder's choice.Brandon Nickerson, who reached first base on the same fielder's choice, moved to second on a catcher's interference to put runners on second and third base with no outs.After a Dominic Rio strikeout Starkweather collected an RBI with a sacrifice fly to centerfield.Nickerson scored on an RBI single from Vetters to close out the scoring in the inning.SK added insurance in the fifth inning with two runs.Nickerson scored on a Gig Harbor error and Josh Showers added a run-scoring single.While SK records the wins, Goodwin said he is still concerned with a lack of hitting in the bottom of the lineup, other than Mayfield, who hits in the ninth position.We're starting to get in a little groove here and that's nice to know, Goodwin said. I'm happy about that, but I'm still not pleased with all my hitters. Some aren't even swinging the danged bat. I don't get it.Two weeks ago Goodwin said some players had yet to assert themselves.Goodwin said some players have since changed that notion.To me, Rio and Sage are way above (asserting themselves), Goodwin said. Mayfield is hitting the ball and Travis Vetters is coming. Josh Showers is starting to light it up and Shane (Starkweather) is getting better.Goodwin said he needs more players to hit the ball if the team wants to enjoy success in the playoffs.I'm getting some guys that are starting to get going but you gotta have eight or nine guys hitting, Goodwin said. We're not getting runs in right now. We've got guys on base and we're stranding them. I need to have more than five guys hitting or we're not going anywhere. "