Wolves breeze through double feature

When the South Kitsap baseball team hosted Skyview of Vancouver for a twinbill at Buck Gehring Field on Saturday, the conditions proved less than hospitable. A vagrant wind swirled from right to left, whipping the infield into a miniature dust-bowl and creating a setting more evocative of “The Grapes of Wrath” than “The Natural.”

Yet the afternoon brought the Wolves more than a lingering chill. Most comforting for head coach Elton Goodwin were two victories over the previously unbeaten Storm of the Greater Saint Helen’s League.

South got an impressive performance from Brian Cox, who pitched the Wolves to a 4-1 win in the opener. In the nightcap, South rallied for a 10-5 win after spotting the Storm a 5-0 lead.

With hard-throwing senior Travis Vetters struggling to find his game, Cox gave Goodwin a lot to smile about. The junior right-hander stepped onto the mound and silenced Skyview with a two-hitter, striking out eight and walking two in a complete-game performance. Cox through just 85 pitches, 60 of them strikes.

“He just kind of dominated,” Goodwin said. “He got stronger as the game went on. He had command of his fastball, got his curveball over and threw his changeup about five times. I liked what I saw.”

Josh Showers drove in two runs with a double and a single to lead the Wolves' attack. Tyler Mayfield added an RBI single, and Vetters plated a run with a sacrifice fly. Cox and Phil Thomas each were 2-3 for the game, with Thomas contributing a double.

As well as the first game went for Goodwin and the Wolves, the nightcap took a sour turn when every fundamental mishap known to give coaches ulcers afflicted the Wolves in the top of the third. After cruising through the first two frames, ace lefty Dan Knox walked the bases loaded and was replaced by Boya Quichocho with one out. Quichocho was greeted with a two-run single, and that was followed by a fly ball that was dropped in deep left field for an error and a blooper to left-center that fell between three Wolves close enough to catch it. The result was a 5-0 hole.

South (8-3 overall, 3-2 Narrows League) got a run back in the third, another in the fourth and tied the game with three in the fifth, which Vetters began with a towering a home run to left. Showers and Adam Siler walked to load the bases, Jeff Goodwin reached on an error and Joel Goodwin (2-2, 3 RBI) delivered his second run-scoring single in as many innings.

In the sixth, Skyview suffered an inning to match the Wolves’ third. Quichocho opened the odyssey with a single to center, and it would be the only ball South hit out of the infield all inning. Vetters was hit by a pitch, starting a string that included four walks, an infield hit and an error that accounted for five runs.

Siler retired Skyview (6-2) in order in the top of the seventh to secure the win and complete three innings of scoreless relief. The junior southpaw struck out three, walked just one and gave up two hits.

“He did a nice job,” Goodwin said. “He had ’em in check. It was definitely his best outing. If he could do that consistently, he could sure help us.”

As for the ultimate significance of the doubleheader sweep, only time will tell.

“It was two respectable wins over a club that was undefeated,” Goodwin said. “Whether or not the Vancouver area is weak, I don't know. Usually they’re not. It could be a real morale booster for us.”

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