POULSBO — North Kitsap’s Chris Gieri connected on a blistering line drive that had a chance for extra base hits. Unfortunately for Gieri, South Kitsap’s shortstop was able to catch his laser beam shot, ending North’s season at the 13-year-old Babe Ruth State Tournament on Saturday night at Snider Park.
Despite the 7-1 loss to SK in a loser-out game, North manager John Wahl said his team did a good job at the plate, but just didn’t get the breaks they needed in order to come up with a win.
“They played their hardest,” he said. “We didn’t have any strikeouts in this game. We put the ball in play. Everything we hit seemed to go right at their fielders.”
“For any team to go seven innings without striking out, it’s pretty good,” Wahl added.
North scored its only run of the contest against South in the top of the second inning.
Richie Sander roped a one out line drive single to left field to get North started. After stealing second base, Sander advanced to third on a Peter Wahl ground out. This set the stage for North’s Steven Breitmayer. He singled up the middle, giving North an early 1-0 lead. It would be the only lead they would have in the game.
South scored seven unanswered runs, putting up a game-high three spot in the bottom of the fifth, sealing the victory.
North’s Trevor Shuey led the hitting parade going 3-for-3 with three singles. Breitmayer went 2-for-3 with a RBI.
Shuey said he wished his team would have put forth a better performance against South.
“Today we couldn’t hit at all,” he said. “We made a lot of errors and didn’t do a good job. The first game of the tournament was our best game.”
The highlight of the weekend was North’s come from behind 11-10 victory in its opening contest of the tournament against Moses Lake July 12.
North trailed 10-4 in the sixth inning before putting up seven runs, giving itself an 11-10 lead.
“It was pretty incredible. We were neck and neck at 4 apiece going into the sixth inning. They scored six runs in the top of the sixth,” John Wahl said. “We were down and came up with seven runs in our half of the inning and were able to hold them off to get the win.”
He said his team was ecstatic following the dramatic comeback victory.
“They were really on a high. It was great,” he said. “We won against a pretty good team.”
Breitmayer said the tournament experience itself was especially enjoyable.
“It was fun. It was exciting to play against and see all of these different teams,” he said. “My coaches and teammates taught me a lot this year.”
Teams competing in the tourney included North Kitsap, Mount Vernon, South Kitsap, Wenatchee, Central Kitsap, Moses Lake, Ellensburg and Port Angeles.
Mount Vernon advanced to the 13-year-old regional Babe Ruth tournament in Bozeman, Mont. beginning on July 28 after defeating Central Kitsap 9-4 in the championship game Sunday evening.
Tournament co-director Russ Barker said North Kitsap Babe Ruth was glad they had an opportunity to host the tourney.
“All of the kids from every team were pretty excited about being here,” he said. “There were some great, close games this weekend. We enjoyed hosting it.”