Sports

And then there was one

After nearly two weeks of fierce competition, only one South Kitsap Little League team remained in district competition.

The South Kitsap Eastern Major (11-12 year olds) Little League squad earned a berth to the district championship game after blasting North Kitsap National 13-3 at Snider Park in Poulsbo Sunday.

SK Eastern played its championship game yesterday against either Bainbridge Island or North Kitsap National, which played a loser-out game Monday evening after press time.

If SK Eastern lost yesterday, it plays today at 6 p.m. in a winner-take-all game.

SK Western watched its improbable run through the loser’s bracket fall two games short of the championship game after falling to Bainbridge Island 9-2 Sunday.

After opening with a win against North Kitsap American, SK Western lost to Bainbridge, forcing it into the loser’s bracket.

SK Western went on to win the next three loser-out games before losing to Bainbridge again.

In Minor (9-10 year olds) Little League action, SK Eastern made it to the quarterfinals before losing to Bainbridge 12-1.

SK Eastern rebounded with a win against Gig Harbor American but watched its season end with a 12-1 loss to Gig Harbor National.

After SK Eastern’s win against North Kitsap National Sunday in the major division, manager Dan Cooper said he’s been amazed but not surprised by the offensive output shown by his squad in the tournament.

Going into yesterday’s championship game, Eastern was scoring 8.5 runs per game while giving up just two runs per game.

“These kids have come through,,” Cooper said. “We had a tight game against Gig Harbor National 2-1 and then this game the kids came out right off the get go.”

Cooper’s son, Michael, highlighted a seven-run second inning with a two-run home run in dead center.

Cooper said he knew it was going to be a slugfest before his son’s blast.

“I knew they were on by the second batter,” Cooper said. “There’s some awesome kids on this team.”

As for which team he wanted to play in the championship, Cooper said that was an easy answer.

“Three years ago we lost to Bainbridge Island in the championship game at districts as nine and 10 year olds,” Cooper said. “The kids have something to prove and they want Bainbridge.”

While the offense has been on fire, the same can also be said for Eastern’s pitching.

“We do have the pitching,” he said. “We played four games and used a different pitcher in every game and I haven’t even shown all my pitchers. I’ve got eight pitchers and I’ve thrown six out of the eight. I haven’t even used my best.”

Cooper said the strategy was to save his best arms for the final one or two games.

“I don’t want to show the kids off too early because the teams would know what to expect,” he said.

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