North Kitsap’s recent history against Port Angeles hasn’t been pretty, but the Vikings finally got the chance to turn the tables on the Roughriders last weekend.
The two teams met in the consolation game of the Olympic League baseball tournament, and after having five of their past seven losses against Port Angeles come in the final at-bat, it was North Kitsap who rallied for three runs in the top of the eighth and then shut the door in a 5-2 victory at Central Kitsap High School.
“It was really sweet today for us and for the kids,” coach Jeff Weible said. “I’m proud of the kids for grinding and not letting the past dictate the future. It was good to see them have a smile at the end of the game.”
The fateful inning began with one-out singles from Will Butler and Dalton Brockett. Cole Edwards then hit a grounder to short, but the throw to second was wild allowing Butler to score the go-ahead run.
After Ryan Pugh reached on another Port Angeles error, Blake Shipp hit a double into the left-centerfield gap to score two runs and give his team a cushion for the bottom of the inning.
“I almost pinch-hit for him right there,” Weible said. “He’s a guy that hits the ball in the air, and we needed a fly ball there, so for him to come up and get a big double in the gap and score two runs, that was huge.”
Edwards entered the game on the mound in the fifth inning then retook the hill to shut the door. He had already made an impact on the game; the diminutive freshman tied the game in the sixth when he slashed an RBI-triple down the rightfield line.
Edwards allowed just one hit and one walk over 3 2/3 innings of work and shut down Port Angeles with a 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth inning, finishing the game with his fourth strikeout of the afternoon.
Noah Sorenson was the starting pitcher and held the Roughriders scoreless for four innings and gave his team a 1-0 lead on a sacrifice fly. In the fifth, Jacob Felton hit a long fly ball to the right-centerfield gap that was just inches out of Butler’s reach for a two-run triple.
The Vikings lost game one of the day to the eventual champions, Bainbridge, but ended up rebounding nicely against their Olympic League rivals. The win bodes well for next year’s team, which has plenty of returning starters and some talented youngster on the way.
“I’m super excited,” Weible said. “We have six arms that could be starting pitchers. We just need to hopefully get back to our normal routine in the offseason of getting in the weight room, getting in our gym, hitting and throwing. If the kids put the work in, the sky is the limit on next year.”
North Kitsap 5, Port Angeles 2
NK 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 3 — 5 7 0
PA 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 — 2 5 2
WP: C. Edwards LP: Hall
North Kitsap — Sorenson 4.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K; C. Edwards 3.2 IP, H, BB, 4 K.
Port Angeles — Watkins 6 IP, 4 H, R, 0 ER, BB, 2 K; Hall 2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 2 K.
North Kitsap — Brockett 3-3, BB, 3 R; Shipp 1-4, 2B, 2 RBI; C. Edwards 1-2, 3B, RBI, R; Bower 1-4, 3B; Sorenson 0-1, RBI; Butler 1-3, R.