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Wolves regroup quickly after no-hitter
South Kitsap needed little time to generate offense just days after being no-hit.
The Wolves scored seven runs in the first inning en route to an 11-1 win in five innings Monday against Wilson in Narrows League play.
South (12-3 overall, 10-3 league) clinched the Bridge Division for a second consecutive season with the victory.
"The first thing I thought is that we weren't going to get no-hit twice in a row," said South coach Jim Fairweather, whose team couldn't connect against Central Kitsap's Drew Vettleson in an 11-1 loss Friday. "It's nice to come back."
Five consecutive hitters reached safely in the first inning off Wilson right-hander Kurtis Longver after lead-off hitter Charlie Hough grounded out. Ricky Johnson followed with a triple and scored on a single by Brady Steiger. Scott McGallian then singled before Mitch Cartwright hit a two-run triple to right-center field. Swey Dean was the last player in the sequence with a walk.
"Every came out stroking the ball," Cartwright said. "It feels good."
But the Wolves weren't finished even after Brad Fairweather hit a fly out to center field. Gordy Anderson and Josh Fort followed with RBI singles and Hough connected on an 0-1 pitch for an RBI double to give South a 7-0 advantage. Johnson hit a fly out to center field to finally end a 39-pitch inning for Longver.
That was more than enough for the right-handed Johnson, who allowed one run on three hits in four innings. The junior struggled with his control at times, though. He walked three batters and only threw 39 of 70 pitches for strikes. Johnson also finished 3 for 4 with a triple.
"He labored a little bit," Fairweather said. "I sure like the way he's swinging the bat, though."
Right-hander Collin Monagle, who signed to pitch at the University of Washington next season, pitched the fifth inning as he continues his comeback from offseason labrum surgery. He retired the Rams (8-8, 6-7) in order and struck out one.
South extended its lead to 8-0 in the second inning. Steiger, who went 1 for 3 with an RBI, led off the inning with a walk. He eventually scored on a single by Dean.
Wilson's lone run came the following inning. Eric Lund reached base when he was hit by a pitch and later scored with two outs when Harry Bowman hit a single to right-center field.
The Wolves added another run in the fourth inning when Fort, who was 2 for 2 with two RBI, drew a bases-loaded walk off Longver to score McGallian, and scored twice more in the fifth. Johnson singled before Steiger grounded out against left-handed reliever Spenser Ready. Pinch-hitter Ghryn Hobson then sent a 3-0 pitch during the ensuing at-bat over the left-center field fence to end the game.
"I'm happy Ghryn got a hit because he needed it badly," Fairweather said. "Everything about the game was positive."
Despite clinching the Bridge, Fairweather knows his team has plenty to prove after being no-hit for the first time in his five-year tenure as coach of the Wolves. South has lost against all three of the Bridge's top teams — Olympia, Central and Bellarmine Prep — this year.
"We have to play a lot better," Fairweather said. "I don't know what happened against CK — it didn't seem like we had a lot in us."
Cartwright remains confident the Wolves can compete against the Bridge.
"I know that we can compete with those teams," he said. "We're just as good, if not better than any of them."
At South Kitsap 11, Wilson 1 (5)
Wilson 001 00 — 1 3 2
South Kitsap 710 12 — 11 15 0
Kurtis Longver, Spenser Ready (5) and Ben Church, Alex Tuman (1). Ricky Johnson, Collin Monagle (5) and Gordy Anderson.
Leading hitters: Mitch Cartwright (SK) 1-2 3B 2 RBI; Josh Fort (SK) 2-2 2 RBI; Ghryn Hobson (SK) 1-1 HR 2 RBI; Charlie Hough (SK) 2-4 2B RBI; Ricky Johnson (SK) 3-4 3B.