Sports

Wacky win for Wolves

Just when you think you’ve seen it all on baseball diamond, the South Kitsap and North Kitsap prep baseball teams pulled out all the punches Wednesday afternoon in a Narrows League Bridge Division showdown.

SK coach Elton Goodwin said it was the strangest baseball game he’s ever seen.

Take your pick.

The teams combined for a half-dozen errors all on infield tappers. Meanwhile, a winter-cool breeze surrounded by dark clouds failed to bring rain through the first two innings.

But the breeze quickly turned into a 30-mile-an-hour wind, accompanied by a combination of rain and hail.

Umpire Bob Blackburn delayed the game for roughly 10 minutes until the hail subsided. Action resumed with a constant drizzle for the next three innings.

By the fifth inning the rain made a quick exit and was replaced by partly cloudy skies and a bright sun.

Then there was the most bizarre play never before seen Wednesday by anyone in attendance.

Holding a 7-6 lead in the top of the fifth inning with a runner on first base, SK relief pitcher Adam Siler needed one more out to get out of the inning.

Instead, North Kitsap’s Patrick Gilbert belted Siler’s fastball over the leftfield fence to give the Vikings an 8-7 lead on an apparent two-run home run.

Clearly excited by the home run, Gilbert began high-fiving his teammates as he approached home plate. But then, Gilbert stepped over the plate and started heading towards the dugout.

SK catcher Josh Ness caught the misstep and told Goodwin he missed the plate.

SK appealed the play and Blackburn quickly called Gilbert out.

Vikings coach Steve Frease erupted with displeasure by the call, but Blackburn was adamant that Gilbert did not touch home plate.

“We got a lousy call at home plate,” Frease said. “We wanted this. The kids wanted it bad. We didn’t get it.”

Instead of holding a one-run lead late in the game, NK pitcher Pedr Rauen said he saw it differently than Ness and Blackburn.

“I saw (Gilbert) stomp on the plate,” Rauen said. “They shouldn’t let a game be decided on a call like that.”

Goodwin said he expected North Kitsap to complain about the call.

“They’re going to call foul play, but he clearly missed home plate,” Goodwin said. “You have to touch every base. If you don’t, guess what?

That “guess what” turned into a Cody McCulley solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning, which broke the 7-7 tie.

McCulley said it’s obvious what was on his mind after he cleared the fence.

“When I hit mine the only thing I was thinking about was touching home plate,” McCulley said. “It’s not a given when you hit it out. You gotta touch them all.”

The most relieved player on the field was Siler, who said Gilbert’s snafu lifted him up, and it showed when he shut down the Vikings hitters in the final two innings.

“I was down after the home run, but then when they called him out it was a big weight off my shoulders,” Siler said. “I didn’t give up the lead after all and it gave me a lift and I fed off of that.”

Siler retired six of the last seven batters he faced, which included striking out the side in the seventh inning to end the game.

“What a suck up job,” Goodwin said of Siler’s performance. “He’s throwing strikes out the side and his curveball was on. For a guy to be under pressure and to do that as a high school kid is neat.”

The Wolves improved to 5-1 overall and 2-0 in the division while the Vikings fell to 4-2 overall and 1-1 in the division.

SK hosted Port Angeles yesterday (barring rain) at press time and the results were unavailable.

Trevor Pyle contributed to this story.

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