SK to play Wilson for Narrows League title

After suffering two early season losses to league foes Port Angeles and Gig Harbor, the South Kitsap High School baseball team somehow managed to fight its way to the top of the Narrows League Bridge Division standings.

Though tied with PA with identical 10-2 records, SK got the nod because of a power-ranking formula.

It marked the second time in as many years SK has squeezed through the back door to earn first place in the division.

While luck played a part in putting SK in a position to earn either a No.1 or No. 2 seed into the regional tournament, Wolves coach Elton Goodwin said his club is playing good baseball of late.

Ranked No. 6 in the state, SK (16-3) puts its 11-game winning streak on the line today at 3 p.m. against Wilson at Tacoma’s Heidelburg Park.

Goodwin said the success all starts with pitching.

“We’ve had supreme pitching from our guys,” Goodwin said. “Pitching is key to winning in the playoffs, no doubt about it.”

Goodwin’s top three pitchers have been Dan Knox (6-1, 1.39 ERA, 67 K), Brian Cox (5-1, 2 saves, 1.35 ERA, 31 K), and Travis Vetters (3-0, 2.24 ERA 40 K).

Goodwin provided statistics that prove how valuable SK’s pitching staff has been during the 11-game winning streak.

In that span, Knox has thrown a four-hitter, two three-hitters, and a combined three-hitter.

Cox has hurled a two-hitter and a three-hitter, and Vetters had two one-hitters along with the combined three-hitter with Knox and Boya Quichocho.

Quichocho has also been stellar this season throwing 13 innings with a 1.61 ERA.

Offensively, Goodwin said Josh Showers is clearly the best hitter in the league and should earn the division’s MVP award.

“To me, he’s the MVP of the league,” Goodwin said. “He leads the league with 30 hits, he’s hitting .517 and he’s got a 61 on-base percentage.”

SK’s first four batters are hitting over .400.

Last year’s MVP, Tyler Mayfield, is hitting .406 with 13 stolen bases and two home runs.

Quichocho, batting in the number two spot, is also batting .406.

Vetters, third in the lineup, is hitting .451.

Seniors Brandon Nickerson and Phil Thomas have shored up the bottom half of the lineup with .326 and .358 batting averages, respectively.

Goodwin said Wilson (11-3) should provide a tough challenge.

“They’ve got a pitcher, Brent Shea, who throws the ball well,” Goodwin said. “He has a splitter, but I think he goes to it too often. They lost their star centerfielder to appendicitis. They are solid, so it should be a good game.”

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