Wolves just keep on learning, winning

If anything, this week was a good learning experience for the South Kitsap baseball team.

And after having to come from behind to beat Shelton 15-5 on Monday and then see Tuesday’s game postponed because of rain, what they learned was patience.

“A little bit,” South coach Jim Fairweather said. “I said to them out in the huddle that I don’t know how well we came to play (with the players out for spring break and other things on their minds).

“Just like I’ve said all year, everybody has it out for us,” Fairweather said. “They want some of what you got. And you got it but I don’t know if you’ve necessarily earned it yet. And we’ve got to continue to earn it every time we go out. And it took us a while, but I think we earned this win.”

The win moved the Wolves to 7-0 on the year and 3-0 in Narrows League Bridge Division play, a half game behind league-leading North Kitsap.

The second game of the Shelton series has yet to be rescheduled.

With their stud, Matt Hudson, on the mound, and what looked like a huge first inning, the Wolves were primed to blow the Highclimbers out early.

But with the bases loaded and the heart of the lineup coming to the plate, South could manage just one run. And when Hudson struggled with his control early, South found itself down 3-1 in the third inning.

“That just can’t happen for us,” Fairweather said. “We can’t have that because pitching has been our down spot.”

Hudson went five and two-thirds innings and picked up his third win of the year against no losses but had trouble throwing strikes. He left the game after throwing 96 pitches and allowing five hits and four walks to go along with seven strikeouts.

“It shouldn’t be that bad for Matt. I’m not sure what’s going on with him,” Fairweather said. “But we’ll get him figured out.”

But while Hudson has been struggling with his control, Andrew Thatcher has been a pleasant surprise for the Wolves.

Thatcher relieved Hudson with one out in the sixth and needed just three pitches to record the final two outs. Grant Sampson ended the game in the bottom of the sixth by knocking in the 15th and final run.

“It took us a while to hit (Shelton starting pitcher Mike Faughender),” Fairweather said. “We got after him finally and got the lead on him and then we buried him, and that’s kind of what we need to be able to do. But I’d like to be able to do it a little sooner than what we did.”

South got single runs in the first and third innings and then got to Faughender in the fourth, turning two walks, three hits and an error into four runs.

In the fifth, the Wolves batted around and scored eight runs on four singles and a couple of walks.

Zach Jacob led the offensive charge with three hits, including a double and a triple and drove in two runs. Dan Dillard slammed a two-run homer while Ryan Cosgrove and Sampson both drove in a pair of runs.

“My fear is when we wait too long and if we get a good team and all of sudden they’re handling us,” Fairweather said. “So I want them to come gnashing their teeth a little bit first and getting after people.”

Of their seven games this year, the Wolves have ended five early due to the 10-run mercy rule.

South gets back into action Tuesday, opening a two-game series with Olympic at the SK field at 3:45 p.m. The Wolves travel to Silverdale on for a 3:45 p.m. start on Thursday.

South Kitsap 15, Shelton 5

Score by innings

Shelton 030 110 — 5 5 5

South Kitsap 101 481 — 15 12 0

Faughender, Wienzirl (5), Trondsen (5) and Roddman; Hudson, Thatcher (5) and Smothers and Miller (5). W-Hudson (3-0). L-Faughender.

Leading hitters: Sh-Hansen 2-4; SK-Dillard 3-5 (HR 2RBI), Jacob 3-4 (2B,3B,2RBI), Cosgrove 2-4 (2RBI), Sampson 1-2 (2RBI).

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