North hands South tourney loss

North Kitsap put up three runs in the first two innings and maintained a two-run margin behind the pitching of Jamaal Smith to bounce cross-county rivals South Kitsap from the Babe Ruth 14s state tournament Monday at Lindley Smith Field.

Smith struck out seven in seven innings on the mound, and added an RBI in the second to garner MVP honors in the game.

“He really shut us down,” said South Kitsap coach Dan Cooper. “And we couldn’t adapt to him.”

“He’s a big strong kid and he throws hard,” added NK’s coach Mike Jones. “And he throws strikes.”

Joe Seitz started the game for South but gave up two walks to North’s Jordan Tucker and Taylor Zehrung to start the contest.

NK’s Marcus Harris brought Tucker home on a fielder’s choice and Kyle McCowan brought in Zehrung on a single to put SK in the hole 2-0.

“We came out hungry — we wanted this game,” said Jones.

Cooper, however, said just the opposite of his team — that South came out tight on both offense and defense.

“Fighting the nerves and the jitters really hurt us,” Cooper commented. “We came out nervous and could never get on top.”

North’s Tucker was again the culprit in the second, hitting a lead-off single and stealing two bases. He was driven in by pitcher Smith to put North ahead 3-0.

South’s Jesse Seitz picked up the lone RBI in the third to put his team within two runs, but SK was not able to pull even with a nearly errorless North defense.

“The kids came out focused and determined,” NK’s Jones said. “And we executed our brand of baseball.”

Cooper explained his team — whom he referred to as a hitting club — was largely stifled by NK’s Smith on the mound and his opponent’s defense.

“We just needed to put the ball in play to make things happen,” Coo-per said.

-- South Kitsap 9, Bellingham 4: Nick Bachteller went 3-for-3 and drove in three runs to put SK into the semifinal round.

Bachteller led a 13-hit attack and that jumped on Bellingham early.

The win gave South Kitsap a 3-1 pool record.

-- Yakima 8, South Kitsap 5: Yakima jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead and lead 5-1 at one point but South tied the game on a two-run double off the bat of Joe Seitz. Derek Slack went 2-for-4 in the game with a double and a RBI for SK.

-- South Kitsap 8, Port Angeles 3: SK fell behind 3-0 but rallied behind the pitching of Joe Seitz and the hitting of James Hart.

Seitz, who entered the game with one out in the first inning and his team already down 3-0, allowed just one hit over the final six and 2/3 innings.

He also collected a pair of hits and drove in a run.

Hart also had two hits and drove in three runs.

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