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BASEBALL | Wolves on both ends of blowouts
KENT — South Kitsap has been on both ends of blowouts during its storied baseball history in playoff games at Kent Memorial.
The Wolves experienced both Saturday.
After needing just five innings to defeat Kentwood 11-1 in the morning, South lost 9-3 during the night championship game versus Puyallup in the Class 4A West Central/Southwest Bi-District Tournament.
The latter setback means the Wolves (18-5), who have won their most games since they finished 21-4 during their state championship season in 2003, earned the No. 2 seed out of districts and advance to play at 10 a.m. Saturday against Jackson at Kent Memorial.
“There’s a sour taste in your mouth and there should be,” South coach Marcus Logue said. “Everyone is frustrated now.”
Tyler McDowell seemed determined to make up for his early struggles on the mound. After the junior left-hander walked Kevin Whatley and Cody Wolfe to start the game, the former scored on a sacrifice fly by Tyler Pinkerton.
But McDowell quickly erased the Wolves’ lead in the bottom of the inning when he hit a three-run home run off starter Josh Johnston over the right-center field wall. That gave the Vikings a 4-1 advantage.
“We knew they were going to hit the ball,” Logue said. “We left some up and that’s how they’re going to put runs on the board.”
Puyallup (22-2) added two more runs in the second inning and extended their advantage to 9-1 the following frame on an two-RBI double by Owen Brelthaupt.
Logue attributed the sluggish start more to the long layoff between games than a lack of desire.
“We were up for it,” he said. “I think the guys were excited, but we didn’t execute enough to be able to win it.”
That also was an issue during South’s best inning. Despite loading the bases, the Wolves’ only run came when Pinkerton singled to score Alek Morrison. South added its final run in the seventh when Morrison, who went 2 for 3, singled and later scored on an error. While Logue felt his team’s approach at the plate was better in the later innings, he acknowledged that coming back from their deficit was “a tough task.”
Now the Wolves will look to rebound against Jackson (13-8). Unlike Puyallup, which is less than 20 miles from Kent Memorial, both the Timberwolves and South will face significant travel to get to Kent Memorial.
“There’s no excuses from this point,” Logue said. “You’ve got to come prepared and ready to go.
“We’re a good team. We’re going to rebound from this.”
Puyallup 9, South Kitsap 3
South Kitsap 100 010 1 - 3 5 2
Puyallup 423 000 x - 9 11 1
Josh Johnson, Logan Knowles (2) and Tyler Pinkerton; Tyler McDowell, Ryan Harris (5) and Brendan Illies.
Leading hitters-Alek Morrison (SK) 2-3 2 runs, Tyler Pinkerton (SK) 1-2 2 RBI, McDowell (P) 2-4 2 runs HR 3 RBI, Quinn Rawson (P) 2-4 run RBI.
South Kitsap 11, Kentwood 1 (5)
Kentwood 100 00 - 1 3 0
South Kitsap 103 34 - 11 7 1
Kade Kryzsko and Reese McGuire. Michael Wood and Tyler Pinkerton.W-Wood. L-Kryzsko.
Leading hitters-Kramer Sims (K) 2-2, Tyler Ludlow (SK) 2-3 HR 5 RBI, Tanner Paulson (SK) 2-2 RBI, Kevin Whatley (SK) 1-2 4 runs, Alex Morrison 1-2 run.