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Johnson powers Wolves to win
Ricky Johnson has a rare quality.
He relishes Mondays.
And for a second consecutive week, the South Kitsap junior helped power the Wolves to a win with a home run.
"I didn't necessarily expect this," Johnson said. "But I thought I would hit the ball pretty well."
His second home run of the season came on a 1-0 pitch from starter Jayse Guild that helped South to a 10-0, five-inning win Monday against Foss.
"That's just the way it's been happening," Johnson said. "He left a fastball right there and I did what I'm supposed to do with it."
The win moved the Wolves (4-2 overall, 3-2 league) into a first-place tie with Foss in the Narrows League Bridge Division. They now have won three consecutive games.
"Our mentality was to get out and get after them," South coach Jim Fairweather said. "That's exactly the kind of game we had."
Shortstop and No. 3 hitter Brady Steiger followed Johnson with another home run. Ghryn Hobson then flew out to right field, but Scott McGallian reached on an error by third baseman Jake Nelson and Josh Fort followed with a single. Both scored on a two-out double by Caleb Macabitas, who added another run when Mitch Cartwright doubled during the ensuing at-bat to give the Wolves a 6-0 lead.
Fairweather said his team worked Saturday on hitting the ball to opposite field and he was encouraged by the home run to left field by Steiger, a left-handed hitter.
"He needs to hit to all fields if he's going to hit for average because everyone is going to pitch him away," he said.
The early lead was more than enough for South's pitching staff. McGallian faced the minimum amount of batters through three innings. Zack Nodden, who led off the game with a single, had the only hit off McGallian, but he later was caught stealing.
Johnson, who generally serves as the Wolves' second starter, pitched the fourth. He allowed one hit, but struck out two batters. Swey Dean, who recently was reinstated off academic suspension, had a strikeout-walk pattern before retiring Nelson, the fifth hitter of the inning, to end the game in the fifth.
"We want to get everyone some work," Fairweather said. "We've got some big games coming up."
Fairweather still wants to see more consistency from his offense. South added one run in the second when Johnson, who went 2 for 3 with two RBI, singled and later scored on a wild pitch by Guild.
Nelson replaced Guild in the third and allowed three more runs. Gavin Fazio and Macabitas started the inning with walks and both scored on a one-out single by Charlie Hough. He later scored on an error by Nodden, who threw the ball into left field when trying to catch Hough from stealing third base.
"I still would like us to hit the ball better," Fairweather said. "But I'm never going to be satisfied. I'm always looking — even from myself — what we can do better."
At South Kitsap 10, Foss 0 (5)
Foss 000 00 — 0 2 2
South Kitsap 613 0x — 10 8 0
Jayse Guild, Jake Nelson (3) and Zack Nodden. Scott McGallian, Ricky Johnson (4), Swey Dean (5) and Gavin Fazio, Gordy Anderson (5).
Leading hitters: Charlie Hough (SK) 2-3 2 RBI; Ricky Johnson (SK) 2-3 HR 2 RBI; Brady Steiger (SK) 1-3 HR RBI.