BREMERTON — The Knights were down, but they were never out.
Overcoming deficits of 3-0 and 6-2, Bremerton emerged victorious from a non-league battle with Klahowya on April 25, winning 8-6.
Andy McMartin and Ethan Farley led the offensive charge with two RBI a piece and Hector Infante got the win in relief as the Knights used four pitchers in the midst of a four-game week.
“We showed a lot of heart today,” Bremerton head coach Steve Dickey said. “You get down early on a team, it’s easy to roll over, but they battled back.”
Farley struck the big blow, producing two runs with a sharp base hit to cut the Eagles’ lead to one in the fourth inning. The Knights took the lead in the sixth when Estan Wakonabo came in to score on a dropped third strike.
“I’m batting him two now,” Dickey said of the freshman Farley. “I had him at seven or eight in the beginning of the season, but he started coming out and really attacking fastballs, he’s doing great.”
Klahowya took a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Ben Streck and Tanyr Gagnon started the game with back-to-back singles. A throwing error by Bremerton starter Preston Jones allowed Streck to come home, and Logan Prater hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Gagnon. Connor Trull also registered an RBI single.
The Eagles then stretched their lead to 6-2 in the fourth with another three-run frame. Chris Danielson brought in a run on a solid single to left, then Prater grounded into a fielders choice for another run and Daykin Yates picked up an RBI on a groundout.
But despite scoring six runs in the first four innings, Klahowya perhaps left a few more on the table. The bases were left loaded in the second inning, and in the sixth, runners on second and third were also stranded.
“The kids played hard,” Klahowya head coach Dan Ericson said. “In theory, we should have maybe scored a few more runs, those early innings we left some runners on base.”
The Knights took advantage and clawed their way back into the game. Hanson Bell and Infante opened the fourth with consecutive hits and both were brought home on the two-run single by Farley. Ryan Saylor followed with a single to put Farley on third and McMartin drove him in with a base hit to right field.
A pair of fifth-inning errors by Klahowya helped Bremerton cut the deficit to one. Then, with runners on second and third, Streck struck out Saylor, which should have ended the inning, but Saylor ended up reaching on a dropped third strike. Wakonabo waited for the throw down to first and then broke for home. He scored and it gave Bremerton a 7-6 lead.
“I thought we battled hard,” Ericson said. “We just needed a few more runs, but our errors were costly.”
Infante pitched well and started the seventh, his third inning of work, but was lifted after one batter in order to keep him from throwing too many pitches. Bremerton has four games this week and needs every arm available.
That gave Wakonabo the opportunity to earn the save, and he did so by striking out the final two batters.
“This game could have easily been lost, but they stayed in it, they didn’t pucker up … they kept their heads up and finished the game,” Dickey said.
Bremerton 8, Klahowya 6
Klahowya 3 0 0 3 0 0 0 — 6 7 6
Bremerton 1 0 1 3 2 1 x — 8 8 4
WP: Infante LP: Streck SV: Wakonabo
Klahowya — Streck 4.2 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K; Yates 1.1 IP, R, 0 ER, BB, K.
Bremerton — Jones IP, 3 H, 3 R, 0 ER, BB, 2 K; Harmeling 2 IP, 2 H, K; Infante 3.1 IP, H, 3 R, ER, BB, K; Wakonabo .2 IP, 2 K.
Klahowya —Streck 3-3, BB, 2 R; Danielson 1-3, BB, RBI; Prater 0-3, 2 RBI; Gagnon 1-3, 2 R; Trull 1-3, RBI, 2 SB.
Bremerton —McMartin 2-3, 2 RBI, BB; Saylor 2-4, SB, R; Farley 1-4, 2 RBI, R; Infante 1-2, BB, SB, 2 R; Wakonabo 1-3, SB, R; Bell 1-4, R.
— Mark Krulish is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MKrulishKDN.