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BlueJackets avoid season sweep at hands of AppleSox
It took six tries, but in the end, the Kitsap BlueJackets proved they could hang with the biggest of the West Coast Collegiate League’s big dogs, knocking off WCCBL-leading Wenatchee 2-1 Thursday at Lobe Fields at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds in Silverdale.
The win keeps the AppleSox (18-8) from sweeping the season series after beating Kitsap (15-15) in five straight prior to the Jackets’ win.
“This puts us back up there, gets us going,” Kitsap coach Matt Acker said. “We’ve got to get going for Corvallis (Ore.). We’ve got to play well for the rest of the year.”
Kitsap struck early with two runs in the third inning, beginning with second baseman Jordan Shadle’s single up the middle.
Outfielder Brian Heere slapped another single, setting up an RBI single for outfielder Kyle Baskett.
Baskett advanced to second and Heere to third on a misplay by Wenatchee right fielder Jimmy Patterson, who later pitched as well.
After Doug Buser grounded out, Bucky Aona finished off the scoring push with a sacrifice ground-out to score Heere.
Kitsap rode the arm of starter Trey Watt (3-1) for seven innings, as Watt had a two-hitter brewing through seven.
He faced one batter in the eighth inning before Kitsap brought in four different relief pitchers in Alec Reichle, Jeff Brooks, Ian Opsal and Connor Whalen.
That foursome combined to give up the lone AppleSox run while allowing two hits and striking one out between them.
Watt finished with seven strikeouts and no walks and Whalen earned his third save, finishing off the ninth with two strikeouts.
Wednesday, after the BlueJackets chased Wenatchee’s strong-armed starter Steve Ames from the game after five innings, things took a turn for the worst as Kitsap watched its 2-1 lead become a 4-2 deficit — and eventually a 5-4 loss.
Wenatchee scored three runs in the top of the seventh, sparked by four consecutive singles followed by a two-run double, and held off a pair of late-inning runs by the Jackets to take the 5-4 win.
James Douglas fell to 1-1 on the season after giving up four runs in 6 1/3 innings, walking no one but striking out just one.
Wenatchee struck first with a run in the first inning, but Kitsap struck back harder as catcher Max Kwan, who plays collegiately for the University of Washington, launched a two-run homer that also scored Aona.
That 2-1 lead held all the way until Wenatchee’s seventh-inning run.
The teams traded solo runs through the eighth inning before AppleSox reliever Chad Smith picked up his second save, recording three straight outs after walking Buser.
The league will enter its all-star break until July 24, when Kitsap returns home for a one-game homestand against affiliate Olympia.