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Wolves rout Kent-Meridian in opener
It usually isn't wise to make too many assessments about a team after its opener.
That is especially true when it comes against a Kent-Meridian baseball team that was shut out seven times while winning just three games a year ago.
But South Kitsap also didn't give any reason for coach Jim Fairweather to dislike his team's 19-0 win Friday. After all, the offense produced 17 hits, while three pitchers combined to allow just one baserunner and the defense didn't commit an error.
"It just all kind of came together," Fairweather said. "We had good defense, good pitching and good hitting."
The Wolves' first six batters reached — one on an error — against Royals starter Brody Leach (0-1). Left fielder Collin Monagle, who hit a two-run double, and third baseman Mitch Cartwright had extra-base hits to help take a 6-0 lead.
"To our credit, we knew they had issues," Fairweather said. "We want to make sure we're rising up every time we're coming out to play and I felt we did that."
Kent-Meridian's only hit came in the second inning when Kevin Clutter singled to center field off starter Scott McGallian (1-0). But after getting two strikes on Trevor Burns, McGallian picked off Clutter at first base to end the inning.
South then extended its lead to 9-0 in the bottom of the second. Monagle, who finished 3 for 4 with two doubles, a triple and three RBI, had a two-base hit and scored on a single by third baseman Mitch Cartwright. McGallian singled in the ensuing at-bat and catcher Gordy Anderson followed with a two-run single.
The Wolves' biggest inning was the third when they sent 14 batters to the plate and scored 10 runs off reliever Brandon Woolworth. Second baseman Ghryn Hobson had the biggest hit — a three-run homer to left field. Hobson finished 2 for 4 with a stolen base and four RBI.
"It feels good, but I'm just happy with the way everyone is hitting the ball," Hobson said. "We're all coming together and it's awesome just seeing everyone stroking the ball like that."
Shortstop Brady Steiger also produced three runs with a triple in the third. South had six extra base hits.
Woolworth pitched a scoreless fourth inning, but Fairweather didn't send anyone who started the game to the plate.
Anderson moved from behind the plate to the mound and struck out two in the fifth to end the game. McGallian went 2 2/3 innings, while Ricky Johnson retired all four hitters he faced.
"The pitching was stellar," Fairweather said. "It was very good for this part of the year."
The Wolves play Wednesday at Bremerton before returning home for a nonleague game today against North Kitsap. Both teams finished with losing records last season, but Fairweather feels Friday's contest should give him a better idea of just how good his offense is.
"I'm sure they'll have a little better pitching," he said. "It should be a good barometer for us."
At South Kitsap 19, Kent-Meridian 0
Kent-Meridian 000 00 — 0 1 2
South Kitsap 63(10) 0X — 19 17 0
Brody Leach, Brandon Woolworth (3) and Jacob Asbill. Scott McGallian, Ricky Johnson (3), Gordy Anderson (5) and Anderson, Gavin Fazio (4).
W-McGallian (1-0). L-Leach (0-1).
Multiple hits: McGallian (SK) 3-3 2 RBI, Brady Steiger (SK) 2-3 BB 3B 4 RBI, Collin Monagle (SK) 3-4 2 2B 3B 3 RBI, Ghryn Hobson (SK) 2-4 SB HR 4 RBI, Mitch Cartwright (SK) 2-2 3B 2 RBI.