Wolves seek consistency

It’s been another up and down week for Jim Fairweather and his South Kitsap High School baseball team. One day they look great, the next, well, not so great.

“We’re not being consistent. We have innings where we’re dead, and then other innings where we’re up,” Wolves’ catcher Brent Nickerson said after Wednesday’s 12-0 win over Bremerton. “If we can stay up for the whole game, I don’t think there’s anyone that can beat us.

“It was a little confidence booster. It gets our confidence up again,” he added. “We have to come out and be ready every day.”

Entering Friday’s late game at North Kitsap, South had beaten Shelton and Bremerton but dropped a game at Central Kitsap to stand at 7-4 overall and 5-2 in Narrows League Bridge Division play.

“It’s a focus thing,” Fairweather said. “We’re looking for some consistency and getting ourselves right.”

Dan Dillard took advantage of his first-ever varsity start Wednesday and had plenty of offense to back him as South Kitsap handed the reeling Bremerton Knights a 12-0 loss.

Dillard tossed a complete-game one-hitter to earn his first varsity win in a game called after five innings due to the 10-run rule.

“Today was kind of an opportunity to get some kids in and build my bench,” Fairweather said. “Dan’s a junior. He should be able to handle something like this and he did a nice job on the mound. Now maybe I’ll be able to cash in on that later on in the season when, or if, we get to that playoff situation.”

Dillard, who has pitched in spot relief for the Wolves this year, was never threatened and surrendered just one hit, a single by Bremerton’s Robby Robinson in the fourth inning. He walked two and struck out four.

“I was just throwing strikes,” Dillard said. “My fastball and curveball were really working out for me. I really wanted to keep the curveball down and low, not getting it up.”

South wasted little time jumping on Robinson, getting two runs in the first off a pair of hits. The Wolves added four in the third and six in the fourth to close out the game.

“The whole thing is a test,” Fairweather said. “It’s a test mentally as well as physically of staying in it and talking and supporting each other. And I think we did a pretty good job.”

Robinson went three innings and allowed nine runs, all earned. He walked five and hit two batters. Thomas Sylvia pitched the fourth and gave up three runs on no hits while walking three.

Nickerson led the Wolves offensively, going 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI while Chris Anderson knocked in three runs on a double, a sacrifice fly and a bases-loaded walk.

“I went back to basics, putting the bat on my shoulder,” Nickerson said. “I hit the ball pretty well today. I’ve been dropping my hands a lot lately and popping the ball up, so I just went back to the basics.”

“We’re still looking for some consistent hitting,” Fairweather said. “And we’re getting it. Chris is hitting the ball well, (Aaron) Cunningham is getting his hits but we’ve got to get them from other places and it’s got to be a little bit more than what we’re getting.

“We’re so close,” Fairweather said. “If you look at the people we’re playing and who they’re beating, and I know we’re not that far away. But these guys are still doubting themselves a little bit and they’re still questioning their abilities and we shouldn’t be at this point.”

In earlier games:

n Central Kitsap 8, South Kitsap 5: Central took advantage of two South Kitsap errors Tuesday to score six runs in the fourth inning to put the game out of reach.

Craig Senter led the Wolves with a two-run single while Steve Lugar hit a two-run home run. Josh Fullington took the loss for the Wolves.

n South Kitsap 12, Shelton 2: Jon Hunter and Aaron Cunningham each went 2-for-3 and drove in a pair of runs to pace the Wolves in Monday’s contest. Matt Hudson pitched three strong innings for the win while James Nelson looked good in relief.

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