SK dials up offense in Narrows win

Kyle Pease may have been joking when he remarked to his teammates that he would hit a grand slam home run during Saturday’s Narrows League Tournament game against Capital.

But after the South Kitsap senior did just that, there’s no joking around about just how well the Wolves are playing at this point and just how far they may end up going.

It’s getting serious, and they’re serious about winning.

Pease’s slam, which cleared the right field fence at Heidelberg Park in Tacoma and sparked a five-run third inning, helped propel South Kitsap past Capital 9-6 and now leaves the Wolves just one win away from qualifying for the Class 4A state tournament for the first time since 2003, when SK last made an appearance and ended up winning it all.

“We just take it as we get it,” third-year coach Jim Fairweather said. “We got this game, and now we have two chances to win (to get to state).”

With the victory, South, 11-6, earned the third seed out of the Narrows League in this week’s West Central/Southwest District Tournament. But it also earned the Wolves a 160-mile bus trip to Vancouver’s Propstra Stadium on Friday morning and a possible meeting with Hudson’s Bay.

Hudson’s Bay and Skyline played late Monday to determine the top seed out of the Greater St. Helen’s League and South’s 4 p.m. opponent. The winner of that game earns the fourth seed in the 2006 Class 4A state tourney, while the loser will play in a winner-to-state, loser-out game at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at Heidelberg Park against the winner of Friday night’s Bellarmine Prep-Todd Beamer contest.  

In Hudson’s Bay, South could catch pitcher Greg Peavey and his 90-plus mph fastball. Had the Wolves lost Saturday, they would have played Auburn Saturday in Kent.

But in Fairweather’s mind, there was only one way to play against Capital.

“People have asked me whether or not we should lose this game and get a better draw,” Fairweather said. “I don’t know who has the better draw or whatever because I respect Puyallup and Auburn (the No. 2 and No. 1 seeds out of the South Puget Sound League).

“But I like beating teams, and we’ve lost enough this year already that we need to keep this momentum,” Fairweather said. “The kids are excited, and they’re happy and we’re playing pretty good baseball right now. For us to change anything right now would be ridiculous.”

The win was South’s fifth in a row and seventh in its last nine games, and the level of play from the Wolves showed.

Junior Brent Pishue got the start for South and threw five-plus solid innings to get the win, allowing seven hits and three runs while striking out three. His defense was solid behind him and, when Capital did make a late run — the Cougars scored five times in their final two at bats — sophomore Brad Johnson, making his first varsity appearance of the season, came in to close the door.

And while Pishue and Johnson did their jobs, the Wolves’ offense continued to take advantage of its opportunities, pushing across nine runs despite getting just eight hits.

Pease led the charge, going 3-for-4 with 5 RBI. His grand slam highlighted a five-run third that put the Wolves up 8-0.

“I was joking around a little bit, but I was like, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll just hit a grand slam here and we’ll be fine,’” Pease told his teammates just before his at bat. “And then it happened … so I was pretty excited.”

Josh Lounsberry knocked in a pair of runs on two hits for South while Zach Job drove in a run on two hits.

“This is big for our momentum,” Pease said. “We can keep building on our wins because we’re going good right now. We think we can beat anybody.”

Narrows League Tournament

Played May 6 at Heidelberg Park, Tacoma

South Kitsap 9, Capital 6

Capital 000 102 3 – 6 9 0

South Kitsap 225 000 x – 9 8 2

Brad Jesernig, Tom DeBoer (3), Casey Mitchell (5); Brent Pishue, David Hammrich (6), Brad Johnson (7). W — Pishue (3-0). L — Jesernig.

Leading hitters — C: Ricky Grant 1-3 (HR, RBI), Matt Fanelli 2-4 (2B, 3B, 2 RBI), Colton Westfall 2-4 (RBI). SK: Kyle Pease 3-4 (HR, 5 RBI, 2 R), Josh Lounsberry 2-3 (2 RBI), Zach Jacob 2-4 (RBI).

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