BREMERTON — Your best friend on Wednesday, March 27 at Legion Field was your car heater.
It was c-c—c-c-old.
North Kitsap coach Steve Frease, however, watched his team swing some hot bats while rolling to a 15-6 Narrows League baseball victory over Bremerton.
“It was good to see the kids swing the bats today,” said Frease as the Vikings (1-2 league, 2-4 overall) picked up their first league win. “We’re a young team and we’re going to get better.”
Brian Leibold led the 15-hit attack by going 4 for 5. Peder Rauen was 3 for 3 with two doubles and an RBI. Jordan Stout 3 for 4.
Pitcher Chris Carlsen also threw some heat on a cold day.
Carlsen relieved sophomore Kyle Howe with no outs and two runners on in the fifth. After a quick strikeout, Carlsen gave up a bloop RBI single and then retired the final eight batters in order. He finished with five strikeouts.
“He pitched very well in the summer but he was very mechanical in his first two outings,” Frease said of Carlsen. “I thought he turned it loose pretty good today; that was good to see.”
Howe struck out six, walked seven and allowed just three hits before tiring in the fifth.
“He struggled early, but settled in,” Frease said. “He’ll get better.”
Bremerton (0-2 league, 1-4 overall) was hurt by ineligibilities, sickness, errors and a lack of punch at the plate.
The Knights suited up just 10 players and were down to nine after sending an ailing Cory Beahm home in the middle of the second inning. Senior Joe Bollinger was behind the plate for the first time in a high school game and so was his replacement, Ron Gingrey.
Coach Mike McKnight wasn’t looking for excuses, though.
“The guys still have got to pick it up and play,” McKnight said. “Every team goes through things like that.”
North, in fact, was minus two starters (Derek Barker and Pat Gilbert) because of illness.
Bremerton’s Josh Walesby was the bright offensive spot for the Knights, going 2-for-4 with a pair of 2-run singles. Gingrey drove in the Knights other run with a bloop single.
Bremerton had more errors (6) than hits (4).
North Kitsap 030 520 5 – 15 15 3
Bremerton 300 030 0 – 6 4 6
Kyle Howe, Chris Carlsen (5) and Anthony Zuvela; Charlie Marza, Joe
Bollinger (4), Alex Mansfield (6) and Bollinger, Ron Gingrey (4).
Hitters – NK: Brian Leibold 4-5; Jordan Stout 3-4; Jake Freiboth 1-2 (2b, RBI, 2 HBP, BB); Peder Rauen 3-3 (2 2b, RBI); Derek Deeter (2 RBI); Dan Peck 1-4 (RBI); Anthony Zuvela 1-4 (RBI); Justin Vestman 1-1 (2b, 2 RBI). B: Josh Walesby 2-4 (4 RBI); Gingrey 1-3 (RBI); Anthony Belgarde 1-3.