Buc’s bats light up the diamond

The Buccaneers baseball team may be new, but watch it play and the word “veterans” comes to mind.

Above: Kingston kept the Bulldogs’ pitcher distracted with three steals in the first inning. (Right) Bucs catcher Theron Rahier slides home in the first inning.

The Buccaneers baseball team may be new, but watch it play and the word “veterans” comes to mind.

In its first two months of play the Bucs have won 10 games. The Bucs have defeated all the Olympic League 2A schools and have a league record of 8-2.

The team’s most recent league win came on Wednesday afternoon, as the Bucs waxed North Mason 8-4 in a game played on the fields at Kingston.

“We really believe within our league and in our district we can compete with anybody,” said coach Scott McKay. “There’s some strong arms out there, but more importantly there’s an awful lot of kids that know how to play the game.”

McKay’s sentiments hit the bull’s eye.

The team throws fast and with perfect aim. The defense players form a net over the outfielder and nearly every ball is caught or stopped. At the plate the Buc’s bats were hot on Wednesday, plating eight runs off 10 hits. And six of those runs came in the first inning, as the entire nine-man varsity line up had a chance to swing before North Mason got the third out.

The Buc’s first run came as third batter up, short stop Reuben Smith, hit a clean single that knocked in second baseman Taylor Zehrung. The Buc’s remaining five first inning runs crossed the plate, as the next five hitters took their turn at bat.

“We came out and ran and hit aggressively and got the big lead,” McKay said. “The first inning we were hitting out there and finding holes.”

Unfortunately for Kingston, North Mason regained its footing after the first inning and the holes dried. The Bucs didn’t score again until the fifth inning. But Kingston didn’t lose composure, instead the defense created a few opportunities of its own.

Pitcher Chris Jones, who manned the mound the entire game, helped the defense retire the North Mason line up in order during the second inning and in the third inning exhausted the Bulldogs after four batters.

Catcher Theron Rahier claimed the key play of the third inning. Jones let loose with a crazy pitch, which prompted the Bulldog on first base to steal second. But Rahier didn’t miss a beat and he launched the ball from behind the catcher’s mound to second base, securing the inning’s second out.

“Theron just made a fantastic throw. It was a close play and it was a big out,” McKay said. “He’s got one of the strongest arms on our team.”

For the remainder of the game North Mason applied the pressure, made some key stops and lunging catches to keep the Bucs at bay for a few innings. The Bulldogs plated two runs in the fourth inning, adding one in the sixth and one in the seventh. Whereas Kingston’s momentum tappered off.

“We did not continue to hit the ball as well,” McKay said. “And all of a sudden North Mason started catching everything we were hitting and that’s baseball.”

McKay speculates that his team, after coming on so strong and big in the first inning, may have thought those six runs came easy so it’ll continue to be easy.

But in baseball, like any other sport, things never come easy and instead a team must make success happen.

Which is exactly what the defense did, as it retired the Bulldogs in six at bats in the sixth inning and five at bats in the seventh.

“While North Mason kept it close we were in control the entire time,” McKay said. “Overall we played solid defense.”

On Friday the Bucs played Bremerton at Bremerton. Results of the game were not available at presstime. On Monday the Bucs return home to take on Peninsula at 4 p.m.