EAST BREMERTON — North Kitsap will get another shot to take down Port Angeles this Saturday, and the stakes are even larger this time around.
The two teams previously met April 30 when North Kitsap surrendered a seven-run lead and ultimately the Olympic League baseball crown to the Roughriders. The Vikings will get the chance to avenge that loss with a place in the district championship game on the line.
The Vikings pitching staff is led by Ryan Hecker and his 1.98 ERA. The North Kitsap ace shut down the No. 2 overall seed, River Ridge, last weekend, tossing a one-hitter and racking up nine strikeouts. Hecker has fanned 28 batters in 19 innings, and finally looked like he had returned to form against the Hawks.
And with a week off between games, the Vikings should have their full complement of arms, including No. 2 man Isaac Richardson, Jordan Robbins and Ryland Schmidt.
At the plate, Kyle Green has been scorching hot with a robust .542 average and 28 RBI to show for it. He forms a tough middle of the order with Tucker Gowin, who has raised his average up to .452 after a relatively slow start, and Hecker, who is now 15 for 38 (.395) since coming back from his injuries. Table setters Richardson (.583 OBP) and Josh Fisher (.510 OBP) are giving the big bats plenty of run-scoring opportunities.
The winner of the match, which takes place at the Fairgrounds, will face off against the winner of the other semifinal game between Highline and Fife at 3 p.m. The loser will have to get back on the bus and head down to North Mason for a 4:30 p.m. contest against the loser of that game.
More 2A baseball: Olympic and Kingston will play loser-out games at Franklin Pierce on Saturday. The Trojans take on White River at 10 a.m. and the Bucs will face Steilacoom at 12:30 p.m. The winners of the two games will face one another at 3 p.m. for the fifth and final state tournament seed. All games are at Franklin Pierce.
The rest of the Saturday schedule:
Boys Soccer 2A
North Kitsap vs. Fife, 5 p.m. at Franklin Pierce Stadium — both teams advance to state.
Boys soccer 1A
Klahowya vs. Charles Wright Academy, 5:30 p.m. at Orting — winner to state, loser out.
Central Kitsap vs. Capital, 10 a.m. at Heidelberg Park, Tacoma.
If they win: play at 4 p.m. vs. the winner of Gig Harbor-Shelton — both teams advance to state.
If they lose: play at 1 p.m. vs. the loser of Gig Harbor-Shelton — both teams advance to state.
South Kitsap vs. Kentlake, 1 p.m. at Heritage Park, Puyallup
If they win: play at 7 p.m. vs. the winner of Skyview-Kentridge — both teams advance to state.
If they lose: play at 4 p.m. vs. the loser of Skyview-Kentridge — winner to state, loser out.
Boys Soccer 4A
South Kitsap vs. Sumner at 7:30 p.m. at Sparks Stadium, Puyallup — both teams advance to state.
2A Sub District Meet — 11 a.m. at Bremerton High School.
3A South Sound Conference Championships, Day 2, 10 a.m. at Shelton High School.
4A South Puget Sound League Meet, 9:30 a.m. at Sunset Chevy Stadium, Sumner.
— Mark Krulish is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.