BREMERTON — Thanks in part to an improbable comeback, Kitsap AA swept its doubleheader with Lower Columbia and has given itself a chance to reach the state tournament.
A seven-run deficit was no match for Kitsap as the team rallied for four runs in the fifth and four more in the sixth to erase an 8-1 Lower Columbia lead. Kitsap then held Lower Columbia at bay in the seventh to pick up the
In game one, Thunder Doty got the win in relief, giving up just an unearned run over three innings of work. Though he is not yet in ninth grade, the Crosspoint Warrior had little trouble keeping the Lower Columbia hitters off balance. Doty struck out four and gave up two hits, and his steady performance gave his team a chance to get back into the game.
“I think they like to hit guys that throw harder, and he kept them off balance mixing up fastballs and curveballs,” head coach Derrin Doty said. “We just kept going with him, and he kept being effective. He was 3 for 3 at the plate, too. It was cool to see a little eighth grader do that.”
Kitsap struck for four in the fifth thanks in part to a huge two-run double by Klahowya’s Logan Prater. The soon-to-be junior blasted a pitch well over the head of the right fielder just a few feet in front of the high fence to score Ethan Quitevis, who had reached on a single. Prater went 2 for 4 and drove in a pair of runs in the contest.
D.J. Doty then ripped an RBI-single to cut the lead to 8-4, and Prater then came home on a wild pitch.
It was more of the same in the sixth. Preston Roberts led off the frame with a single. After a strikeout, Quitevis and Thunder Doty then followed with singles to load the bases. Prater came through with a hard single to right field and Roberts came in to score. D.J. Doty ripped a single into left field to score Quitevis, and Nickyle Tucker hit a long sacrifice fly to tie the game at 8. Avery Martin’s RBI-single then completed the comeback.
It wasn’t a perfect performance by any means. Four errors and some casual plays in the field gave Lower Columbia a few runs and some extra bases — only one of Lower Columbia’s eight runs was earned. A two-out error at third base opened the floodgates for its six-run fourth inning.
“The kids fought back and competed the whole game,” Doty said. “That’s baseball right there. Compete every inning and good things can happen.”
In game two, Kitsap got multi-hit performances from D.J. Doty, Tucker and Martin. Andrew Zetty got the start and pitched three innings of one-run ball before D.J. Doty took over. Kitsap was hanging on to a 7-5 lead entering the seventh when Lower Columbia struck for one more run, but D.J. Doty struck out the final batter with the bases loaded to end the game.
It is expected that three of the five teams from Area 2 will reach the state tournament. With Peninsula and River Ridge in first and second place respectively with five wins each, Kitsap and Lower Columbia should be the two teams that vie for the last spot. With Montesano dropping out of the league, Kitsap has two league games remaining against Elma, which are currently scheduled for a July 17 doubleheader at Legion Field in Bremerton.
“They’re good kids, and they’re starting to learn to compete,” Doty said.