Some have suggested that South Kitsap batters have pressed at times this season.
But if the Wolves felt any pressure during their Class 4A Narrows League finale Wednesday afternoon, it never showed during their 11-1 win against Yelm.
South (13-4 overall, 8-4 league) will enter Wednesday’s league playoffs as the Narrows’ No. 3 seed at Lacey’s Recreational Athletic Complex. The Wolves have one game remaining Monday at Timberline. That contest initially was scheduled April 4 before it was postponed because of rain.
“They’ll be great competition,” South coach Marcus Logue said. “I wanted to make sure we could reschedule it.”
The Wolves needed little time to earn their season sweep of the Tornados (0-17, 0-10). After tying their league-best output for runs during a 10-1 win Tuesday at Central Kitsap, South topped itself a day later.
And the Wolves only needed five innings to do it.
South’s first four hitters reached base. After Kevin Whatley walked, Cody Wolfe singled to center field. Both scored when Jesse Moore followed with a triple. Tanner Paulson then extended the Wolves’ lead to 3-0 when he singled to right field off right-handed starter Andres Miller.
The offensive output — South finished with 12 hits — continued during the second inning. With one out, Tiler Moore and Alek Morrison both singled before Whatley loaded the bases on a walk. Moore scored during the ensuing at-bat on a passed ball before Jesse Moore hit a two-RBI double past diving second baseman Garrett Freisz.
That was more than enough for Wolves’ starter Michael Wood. He allowed his only run in the third inning when Joel Ballou hit a two-out single to score Freisz. Wood, who plans to pitch next season at Everett Community College, struck out nine while allowing just two hits.
“He’s just always focused,” Logue said. “He’s the ultimate competitor. It shows because he constantly has that edge over his opponents.”
South extended its lead to 10-1 in the bottom half of the inning. Tom Simpson singled and then scored with one out on a base hit by Nic Stoner. Tiler Moore, who finished 2 for 2 with a walk and two runs, followed with a single. Both scored on consecutive RBI singles by Morrison, who was 2 for 2 with a walk and a run, and Whatley.
Logue was impressed with the Wolves’ approach at the plate. The only inning his team did not score in was the fourth after Miller was replaced with left-hander Indy Keesler.
“We just need base hits,” Logue said. “I told them, ‘You string singles together and you’re going to score runs and get production to win ballgames.’ ”
South forced the mercy rule with two outs in the fifth inning when Wolfe, who went 3 for 4 with a run, singled to score Tiler Moore.
“I just wanted to go out and have some fun,” said Wolfe, who was among 11 seniors honored before the game. “It was a great day for me.”
Logue attributed this week’s success to Saturday’s practice where the Wolves focused on simplifying their swings. He said the team was hitting too many fly balls recently that were not home runs.
“They simplified things, realized we have to stay tall and be confident in our approach in everything we’re doing,” he said. “I think they did a nice job of being able to focus, stay with the pitcher and work the count.
“We’re starting to turn the corner and I like that.”
At South Kitsap 11, Yelm 1 (5)
Yelm 001 00 — 1 2 0
South Kitsap 334 01 — 11 12 1
Andres Miller, Indy Keesler (4) and Daylan Mathews. Michael Wood and Tanner Paulson.
Leading hitters-Joel Ballou (Y) 1-2 RBI, Cody Wolfe (SK) 3-4 RBI run, Alek Morrison (SK) 2-2 BB RBI 2 runs, Tiler Moore (SK) 2-2 3 runs, Jesse Moore (SK) 1-3 3B 2 RBI.
South Kitsap 10, at Central Kitsap 1
South Kitsap 002 035 0 — 10 15 0
Central Kitsap 000 100 0 — 1 6 1
Logan Knowles, Michael Wood (5) and Tanner Paulson. Griffin McCormick, Nick Roberts (5), Ben Kunkle (6) and Riley Paschal.
Leading hitters-Kevin Whatley (SK) 3-3 2 BB, Jesse Moore (SK) 3-5 2 2B RBI, Paulson (SK) 3-5 RBI, Tom Simpson (SK) 2-4 2 RBI, Knowles (SK) 1-3 RBI, Nick Roberts (CK) 1-2 RBI.