Sports

South Kitsap Western Little League splits games at tourney

South Kitsap Western 10- and 11-year-old players celebrated after a 13-0 win Saturday against Burlington-Edison in the state tournament. Western dropped Sunday’s game, 5-4, against Lake Stevens. - Chris Chancellor/Staff Photo
South Kitsap Western 10- and 11-year-old players celebrated after a 13-0 win Saturday against Burlington-Edison in the state tournament. Western dropped Sunday’s game, 5-4, against Lake Stevens.
— image credit: Chris Chancellor/Staff Photo

Loss puts local Little League squad in loser’s bracket

South Kitsap Western Little League might struggle to top last year’s performance, but even a 5-4 loss to Lake Stevens in Sunday’s state tournament didn’t end its hopes.

Western was relegated to the loser’s bracket in the 10- and 11-year-old state tournament with the loss and played Monday against Aberdeen at Sunset Park in Auburn.

The game was tied, 4-4, in the fifth inning when a double scored the go-ahead run from second base.

Western had an opportunity with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth, but the game ended on a fielder’s choice to second base.

“It seemed like we always came up with a timely hit in the district bracket,” Western manager Mark Knowles said. “We just couldn’t do it this time.”

Hudson Kimple had a home run and Mac McCarty finished with a couple of doubles to lead Western.

It was a different scenario Saturday as Western was strong in all three baseball tenets — hitting, pitching and defense — in a 13-0 win against Burlington-Edison.

Western scored two runs in the first when starting pitcher Logan Knowles led off with a single against right-hander Drew Larson and moved to second base on a sacrifice by Lucas Knowles.

Catcher Tyler Ludlow and shortstop Mac McCarty followed with RBI singles to give Western a 2-0 lead.

The lead extended to 5-0 in the second when Lucas Knowles hit a drive down the first-base line with the bases loaded that scored two runs.

Western didn’t slow down after that as it added six more runs in the third and a couple in the fourth before the 10-run rule was applied.

That was more than enough for Logan Knowles.

He was nearly perfect, allowing just two hits and no walks, while striking out six.

“Great pitching,” Mark Knowles said. “He was hitting his spots.”

Logan Knowles said he mixed his fastball with a knuckle-curve that he threw 35 percent of the time.

“You don’t do anything fancy with it,” he said. “You just throw it like a fastball.”

Knowles said he was buoyed by the offensive effort, which made his job easier because he knew he didn’t have to be perfect.

“It was a great team win,” he said. “Everyone was hitting the ball.”

While he’s excited about the win, Knowles said he and his teammates can’t celebrate too much because they were in a similar position last year. After two blowout wins to start the tournament, Western lost its third game.

“We kind of came out flat (after last year’s wins),” he said. “We can’t expect to blow everyone out.”

Mark Knowles said he thinks this year’s team is better equipped to handle success because they’re more experienced and mature.

“For the most part, this group was together last year,” he said. “They believe they’re going to win.”

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