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Wolves steal some offense
The Narrows League's baseball schedule enables its coaches to make adjustments.
That's because teams often face each other in consecutive games.
During a 9-6 win Monday at Shelton, South Kitsap coach Jim Fairweather felt his team could run successfully against catcher Dalton Emerson.
And the Wolves (3-2 overall, 2-2 league) were determined to do just that Tuesday until it was proven they could be stopped.
That didn't happen as South was successful in all seven of its stolen-base attempts in a 7-2 win against the Highclimbers.
"We got after that catcher," Fairweather said. "We always were hitting with someone in scoring position and that's huge. It puts pressure on and changes things."
Shelton (2-3, 1-3) took a 1-0 lead when Alex Okonek hit a two-out, RBI single to score Jacob Dunnington. But the Wolves responded with their own two-out work in the bottom half of the inning.
It started when Dunnington, who struck out the first two batters, hit shortstop Brady Steiger with a pitch. Steiger stole second base during the ensuing at-bat and then scored when left fielder Okonek's throw was 5 feet right of home plate on a single by Collin Monagle. Ghryn Hobson then followed with a hard single past third baseman Forrest Puterbaugh to score Monagle and give South a 2-1 lead.
The Wolves added two more runs in the second inning. With two outs, Charlie Hough singled down the first-base line. He then stole second and scored on a single to center field by Ricky Johnson. Steiger then followed with a walk before he and Johnson pulled off a double steal. Johnson scored on a single by Monagle past a diving Puterbaugh, but Steiger was thrown out at home to end the inning.
"I told them I felt we turned a corner," Fairweather said. "We're swinging with a bit more confidence ... and that's not a bad pitcher. He brought it and I thought we made a nice adjustment to him."
South added another run in the third on a two-out single by catcher Gavin Fazio up the middle to score Hobson. The lead increased to 7-1 in the fourth when Johnson, who walked, advanced to third base when Dunnington overthrew first baseman Jerrod Maples on a pickoff attempt. Johnson scored when Puterbaugh bobbled a grounder from Hobson. First baseman Scott McGallian singled to shallow right field in the ensuing at-bat to score Hobson.
It was more than enough production for Johnson, who limited the Highclimbers to five hits in 6 1/3 innings. He threw 57 of 89 pitches for strikes.
Fairweather said he tried to reward Johnson with a complete game by sending him out in the seventh, but after retiring Joe Strand to begin the inning, Shelton loaded the bases. Recent junior-varsity call-up Riley Voshell replaced Johnson, and after a wild pitch scored Puterbaugh, he celebrated his 17th birthday by striking out Emerson and Dunnington to end the game.
The Wolves now have scored 16 runs in their last two games after being shut out in consecutive games last week against Bellarmine Prep and Olympia.
"Everybody is meshing and things are starting to roll," McGallian said. "We're going to be a team to beat."
At South Kitsap 7, Shelton 2
Shelton 100 000 1 — 2 5 4
South Kitsap 221 200 x — 7 9 0
Jacob Dunnington and Dalton Emerson. Ricky Johnson, Riley Voshell (7) and Gavin Fazio. W-Johnson. L-Dunnington.
Leading hitters: Dunnington (Sh) 2-4 2B; Alex Okonek (Sh) 2-3 RBI; Collin Monagle (SK) 2-4 2 RBI; Scott McGallian (SK) 2-4 SB RBI.
South Kitsap 9, at Shelton 6
South Kitsap 222 030 0 — 9 13 0
Shelton 022 200 0 — 6 4 2
Scott McGallian, Gordy Anderson (4), Riley Voshell (7) and Gavin Fazio. Zach Crow, Tyler Dunnington (5) and Dalton Emerson. W-Anderson. L-Dunnington. Save-Voshell.
Leading hitters: Ricky Johnson (SK) 3-4 HR 3 RBI; Brady Steiger (SK) 1-4 3B; Fazio (SK) 3-4 4 RBI; Jacob Dunnington (Sh) 1-4 HR.