SK Babe Ruth team advances to state

Taken to the brink of elimination by Bainbridge Island, the South Kitsap Babe Ruth 14-year-old baseball team scored five runs in the fifth inning of the championship game Sunday evening in Port Orchard and won 6-2 to advance to the state tournament in Naches July 18-21.

Andrew Thatcher threw a complete game and limited Bainbridge Island to seven hits.

Thatcher was also the winning pitcher a day earlier in a 5-3 semifinal win against Central Kitsap.

SK had an opportunity to close the door on Bainbridge Island Sunday afternoon, but Bainbridge’s Nick Browning hurled a one-hitter for the 3-0 win.

Bainbridge, which lost to Central Kitsap in the first game of the tournament, bounced back to hand SK its first loss of the tournament, which forced a second game later in the evening.

Just like its win against Central Kitsap, SK scored its runs late in the game.

Brett Bielec led SK’s offense with three hits and Nate Jones added a pair of hits.

In the game against CK, SK trailed 3-1 before reeling off four runs in the sixth inning.

Jones started the scoring with an RBI double.

Thatcher helped his cause with an RBI single to tie the score.

David Hammrich, Jr., followed with an RBI double before Bielec’s RBI single closed out the scoring.

CK had one last gasp in the top of the seventh.

With runners on first and third and two outs, a CK batter lined a shot up the third-base line.

Making like Brooks Robinson, third baseman Kyle Pease dove to his right to snag the ball, rose to his feet, and fired the ball to first base for the third and final out of the game.

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