Wolves settle for split with CK

Imagine, if you will, a scenario so bizarre it left both Jim Fairweather and Bill Baxter scratching their heads. A scenario so strange that Central Kitsap and South Kitsap seemed to literally trade places in consecutive blowout games.

Actually, there is no need to imagine it because that’s just what happened over the course of the Wolves-Cougars two-game Narrows League Bridge Division series this week as South looked unbeatable in Tuesday’s 7-1 win over CK while the Cougars looked the same in their 9-0 win on Wednesday.

“This is almost the exact opposite of what happened yesterday,” CK coach Bill Baxter said after Wednesday’s 9-0 win. “We could play again and it might be reversed again. Baseball’s not a very forgiving game and you have to go out and play hard every day. (Wednesday) we got the best of them.”

The series split leaves both teams right where they were when the week started: South (10-2 overall, 6-2 in league) in second place behind North Kitsap and Central (9-3, 5-3) a game back of South. The Wolves open a two-game series with Gig Harbor on Tuesday.

And after looking so good on Tuesday, Fairweather was understandably troubled by what happened to his team on Wednesday.

“You know, when you get on a roll, good things happen to you,” Fairweather said. “And they were on a roll. They got bounces. Things didn’t happen the way they did (Tuesday) for us. It was just one of those days.”

South dominated the first game, pounding out 10 hits and seven runs on offense while the defense was solid behind the five-hit gem that junior pitcher Andrew Thatcher threw.

The second game saw South commit two key errors that led to runs by CK.

“That’s the CK team I knew was out there,” Fairweather said. “I knew we had a big test. I was happy with (Tuesday) but certainly not satisfied because I knew (Wednesday) was a whole new day and it would be a different situation.”

Tuesday’s game saw Thatcher return from a sprained ankle to throw a gem, allowing just one run on five hits while striking out five.

“It felt good,” Thatcher said, “to come back after sitting on the bench for over a week now and to just come in and pitch a full game, my first full game of the season, it just felt good.”

The junior pitched his way out of a potential jams in the second and third innings and gave up just the single run, a solo homer by Kyle Poss in the fifth.

“I felt loose and in control the whole time,” Thatcher said. “My curveball felt perfect. I could go to it whenever I needed to.”

Thatcher got plenty of support, mainly from shortstop Zach Jacob, who drove in two runs on a pair of doubles, the first coming on a fake bunt that he slapped for a double.

“That was the first slug-bunt I’ve ever had called in my life,” Jacob said. “You’re supposed to keep your eye on the ball, and I was hoping I’d get a fastball. And I did, so I hit it.”

Ryan Cosgrove also drove in a pair of runs on two singles.

But the tables turned on South during the second game.

Central pitcher Zac Brown went five-plus innings, allowing just two hits on his way to a third win.

And this time around, it was South making errors and not playing up to the standards it has set for itself.

“We can all learn a whole bunch from this game,” Fairweather said. “It’s all about finishing up and being mature and battling to the very last guy. That would be good if we did that.”

So with the teams getting a plit in the series, the emotions were about as opposite as the games themselves.

“Yeah, after yesterday, I happy,” Baxter said. “I think we both would have liked to have swept each other. There are two good ball clubs and two good games, so, yeah, I’m happy. When ever you beat a quality team like South Kitsap, you’re happy with it.”

“I guess I’m going to have to be,” Fairweather said. “A win is a win and a loss is a loss and it doesn’t matter how many runs it is. I would have liked to have competed better.

“We didn’t look good (Wednesday),” Fairweather said. “I can handle losing but I just don’t think we competed very well today. That’s the part that bothers me. And that’s the part we have to get better at.”

• South Kitsap 9, Shelton 1: Matt Hudson and Kyle Pease combined to throw a two-hitter in a game postponed twice due to rain. Dan Dillard paced the Wolves by going 2-4 at the plate with three runs batted in while Pease was 2-4 with a triple.

• South JV goes 2-1 for the week: The South Kitsap junior varsity continued its strong play, winning two of the three games it played this week.

South split with Central Kitsap, losing 9-8 Tuesday in extra innings before rebounding on Wednesday with a 16-2, five-inning rout of the Cougars.

The Wolves rallied from a 4-0 deficit in Tuesday’s game to send the game into extra innings only to see CK score five times in the top of the fifth. South rallied again but fell a run short.

Larry Dearth collected four hits for South while Kyle Hawkins drove in two runs on a pinch-bunt.

“The kids battled really hard,” coach Nick Kenyon said. “We showed a lot of toughness in coming back like that.”

The Wolves rebounded from that loss to crush CK 16-2 Wednesday, behind a 4-for-4, four RBI performance by Michael Orcutt. Dearth also had four hits and drove in a run while Trevor Seals and Kramer Mott each knocked in two runs.

Robbie Johnson got the win, throwing all five innings and allowing just two runs.

The junior Wolves ripped Shelton 24-1 in five innings on Monday behind five RBI from Orcutt and a grand slam home run off the bat of Seals. Griffin Powell and Brent Pishue combined to throw a three-hitter.

Central Kitsap 9, South Kitsap 0

Played April 20 at Central Kitsap

Matt Hudson, Daniel Dillard (6) and Aaron Smothers; Zac Brown, Bryce Wentworth (5) and Devon Sprague.  W-Brown (3-0), L-Hudson

Leading hitters: CK - Grey Bashore 1-3 (HR,RBI), Ryan Stromett 3-4 (2RBI), Tyler Owens 1-2 (HR,3RBI,2R), Nate Wallen 3-4, Kyle Poss 2-3 (RBI), Brett Murphy 1-3 (2B). SK – Zach Jacon 1-2, Brad Ossman 1-1.

South Kitsap 7, Central Kitsap 1

Played April 19 at South Kitsap

James Lane, Wentworth (6) and Alan Stabler; Andrew Thatcher and Aaron Smothers.

W-Thatcher (1-0), L-Lane (3-2).

Leading hitters—SK: Daniel Dillard (3-4), Kyle Pease (2-4), Ryan Cosgrove (2-4, 2 RBI), Brad Ossman (2-4), Grant Sampson (2-3), Jason Read (1-3,2RBI), Zach Jacob (2-4, 2RBI), Aaron Smothers (1-4). CK: Kyle Poss (2-4, HR,RBI), Grey Bashure (2-4), Zac Brown (1-3), Ryan Stomatt (1-3), Wallen (1-4).

South Kitsap 9, Shelton 1

Played April 18 at Shelton

Matt Hudson, David Hammrich (4) and Daniel Miller, Aaron Smothers (6); Shaun Morrow, Weinzirl (5) and Brandon Heggie. W-Hammrich. L-Morrow.

Leading hitters: SK - Kyle Pease 2-4 (3B); Dan Dillard 2-4 (2B,3RBI).

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