PARKLAND — The Vikings took care of a familiar foe to earn a third-consecutive trip to the 2A state tournament.
Tucker Gowin was splendid on the mound, tossing 6 2/3 inning with nine strikeouts and freshman Colton Bower belted a two-run homer to help guide North Kitsap, 5-1, past Sequim for the fifth time in six seasons.
Gowin was not originally slated to get the pitching assignment, but some members of the pitching staff are fighting through injuries and he was ready to go when the coaching staff turned to him to help the team advance past the district tournament.
“He threw pretty well against these guys the last time we played them,” head coach Jeff Weible said. “He threw a couple of innings of relief, so I felt confident with him.”
Sequim managed just one unearned run against Gowin in the first inning as he scattered seven hits and three walks over the course of his outing.
“I knew I could pitch well against them, I just had to go out there and do it,” Gowin said.
Chris Schuchart opened the scoring for North Kitsap in the third with an RBI-single, bringing in Nick Alexander, who had reached on an error to start the inning.
They followed with two more in the fourth to take the lead. Bower opened with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch. Josh Fisher followed with a walk and Logan Chmielewski pounded a ball back up the middle to score Bower. Alexander then dumped a ball over the second baseman’s ahead to bring in another run.
Bower struck the big blow in the fifth, driving a two-run shot over the left field fence.
“I’m real proud of him,” Weible said. “Sometimes that happens and it gets a guy going.”
The win gave them a shot at the No. 5 seed out of District III, but the Vikings fell 11-6 to White River in the second game of the day.
They scored five runs over the first two innings with Schuchart and Kyle Green each driving in two runs, but the Hornets rallied.
North Kitsap will play at 1 p.m. next Saturday at Johnson-O’Brien Stadium in Ephrata against Selah, the champion of the bi-district 5/6 tournament.
North Kitsap 5, Sequim 1
SQ 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 1 7 1
NK 0 0 1 2 2 0 x — 5 9 2
WP: Gowin LP: J. Young
Sequim — J. Young 6 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 4 ER, BB, K.
North Kitsap — Gowin 6.2 IP, 7 H, R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 8 K; Reister .1 IP.
Sequim — Thomas 1-3, RBI; J. Young 2-3, 2B, BB; Barrett 2-2, 2B, BB; Oliver 0-3, R; M. Young 1-4.
North Kitsap — Bower 2-3, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R; Gowin 2-3, R; Fisher 2-2, BB, R, SB; Alexander 1-3, RBI, R, SB; Chmielewski 1-3, RBI; Schuchart 1-3, RBI.
— Mark Krulish is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @MKrulishKDN.