EPHRATA — The Vikings season came to an end last week in the first round of the state tournament, falling to Selah 4-1 at Johnson O’Brien Stadium.
North Kitsap managed just three hits off Selah starter Dylan Bishop and made a couple of costly errors in the field that led to extended innings and allowed Selah to strike for four runs.
The Vikings finished their season with an 18-8 record.
“We had to play a clean game against a good team,” said head coach Jeff Weible. “We made three errors. We didn’t hit well. We missed a couple of signs. Overall, we didn’t play well enough to win.”
The game was tied 1-1 in the fourth inning on an RBI-groundout by Colton Bower. Kyle Green had walked to open the inning and Tucker Gowin followed with a double before Bower hit a grounder to the right side that allowed courtesy runner Wil Butler to score.
Isaac Richardson and Nick Alexander collected the other two hits.
But the Vikings went down in order in the next two innings and Selah took advantage of a mistake to swing the game. Two Selah runners reached on a single and a fielder’s choice and moved up to second on an error. Caden Herbst then singled to center to bring them both home and put Selah ahead 3-1.
Despite holding Selah’s best offensive player — Vanderbilt-bound Carter Young — to an 0 for 3 day, North Kitsap came up short.
In the seventh, Bower drew a one-out walk, but a fielder’s choice and a groundout ended the game. Bishop allowed just three hits and three walks in seven innings.
“He threw strikes, and we hit the ball, but they made all the routine plays,” Weible said.
It was another successful season for North Kitsap, though one not without speculation on what might have been. The Vikings missed the services of Kyle Green, the reigining Olympic League MVP for most of the year due to injuries. Jared Reister manned center field all season and was a dynamic leadoff hitter, but rarely pitched and certainly would have made a difference in the rotation. The team’s pitching depth was severely tested by injuries and arm fatigue, especially in the playoffs.
But with the year coming to a conclusion, the program will say goodbye to a special senior class. This group, which includes catcher Green, outfielder Reister and pitcher and shortstop Richardson, qualified for the 2A state tournament in their final three years and in 2017 reached the finals and ultimately placed fourth.
The rest of the graduating class includes Max Larsen, Ryland Schmidt, Shaun Ochab and Zach Meek.
“They have done a lot of great things and they have nothing to be disappointed about,” Weible said.
Selah 4, North Kitsap 1
NK 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 — 1 3 2
Sel 1 0 0 2 0 1 x — 4 8 0
WP: Bishop LP: Richardson
North Kitsap — Richardson 6 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 K.
Selah — Bishop 7 IP, 3 H, R, ER, 3 BB, 3 K.
North Kitsap — Gowin 1-3, 2B; Bower 0-2, RBI, BB; Richardson 1-3; Alexander 1-2.
Selah — Herbst 2-3, 2 RBI; Bruner 2-3, 2 R; Gutierrez 1-3, 2B; Garretson 2-2, RBI, BB.