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Wolves suffer power outage
It was a frustrating end to a frustrating season for South Kitsap.
With their bats once again dormant, the Wolves couldnt take advantage of a pitcher they should have hit and saw their season end with a 3-0 loss to Prairie Saturday in the opening round of the West Central District Tournament.
The Wolves ended the year with a 13-7 record, failing to make the state tournament for the second year in a row.
South had made 20 appearances over the last two and half decades, winning titles in 1983, 1996 and 2003.
We had everything we needed to have to win except hitting, South coach Jim Fairweather said. And hitting is a pretty important thing, especially at this level.
After pounding out 10 hits and scoring 13 runs a week earlier in the Narrows League Tournament, the Wolves were optimistic their bats would carry over to the WCD.
But Prairies Adrian Gomez, who pitched with a jammed middle finger on his pitching hand, subdued the South bats with a variety of fastballs and curveballs, allowing just one hit over seven innings.
I felt like we should have hit him, Fairweather said. Especially when he started fumbling a little bit with his finger issue or whatever it was. And all of a sudden it disappeared when they got a couple of runs for him, all of a sudden he could throw the ball again.
Three times in the first four innings, South seemed to have Gomez on the edge of a big inning but couldnt get the timely hit needed to get on the board.
South put a runner in scoring position in the first inning, had two more runners on the second and got runners in first and second with no outs in the fourth but kept coming away empty.
Im thinking that we had him, Fairweather said. We had him on the ropes and we should have beat him right there in the middle innings. And the whole game would have changed, the complexion would have changed. He would have probably gotten taken out.
We just couldnt quite get the hit, Fairweather said. We had the guys in the spots the runs were right there for us to knock in and we cant get it done.
The lack of hitting was even more pronounced with the pitching efforts of both starter Andrew Thatcher and Matt Hudson. Thatcher allowed five hits over four-plus innings but only one of the three runs were earned.
Hudson pitched the final inning and a third, giving up a lone hit and walk.
Prairie scored a run in the first on two singles and an error. The two runs in the fifth inning came virtue of no hits but on two hit batsmen, two walks and an error.
I still thought our defense was good enough to win, Fairweather said. We just didnt get it done on offense. I was really pleased with Andrew, and I was real happy for (Hudson) to come in and slam the door on them.
But the bottom line was the lack of hitting. Designated hitter Ryan Cosgroves single to start the fourth frame was the Wolves only hit.
I take responsibility for that, Fairweather said. I told these kids that I need to go back and re-look at how Im coaching hitting because we need to be able to hit people like that.
There are better pitchers than that out there, Fairweather said. (Gomez) did a nice job and my hats off to him but we should be able to hit that. We should be able to hit that.
After the game, Fairweather apologized to his team for the short season.
Its too bad, Fairweather said. They are a fun bunch of kids and I love everyone of them. Its just too bad to be done.
Prairie 3, South Kitsap 0
Played May 21 at Mount Tahoma
South Kitsap 000 000 0 0 1 3
Prairie 100 02x 3 6 3
Andrew Thatcher, Matt Hudson (5) and Aaron Smothers; Adrian Gomez and Jason Brown W-Gomez. L-Thatcher
Leading hitters - P: Zach Galka 1-4 (R,RBI), Danny Zigneo 2-2. SK Ryan Cosgrove 1-3.