Friday’s matchup between two 4-0 teams wasn’t as clean as you’d might expect, but North Kitsap’s clutch hitting and sharp defense in the middle and late innings carried them to a 12-6 win over Central Kitsap.
Shortstop Jaxson Gore clubbed a pair of doubles and drove in two runs and outfielder Will Butler picked up three hits and two RBI to pace the offense, which was also able to take advantage of a few CK miscues in the field.
“One of the things we talked about was they’ve been playing on a turf field all this time,” NK coach Jeff Weible said. “So we want to keep the ball out of the air, and put the ball on the ground and force them to make plays.”
The Cougars went ahead 5-2 on Josh Flaugher’s bases-clearing double in the top of the second inning. In the bottom half, Zach Edwards reached base on a one-out walk and moved to third on Gore’s double into the right-center gap. Colton Bower was hit on the foot to load the bases, and Butler and Noah Sorensen both hit hard grounders that CK didn’t field cleanly, allowing three runs to tie the game.
Left-hander Dalton Brockett settled in after a rough start and ended up striking out eight over five innings. His defense helped him out in the third as Edwards and Gore turned a 4-6-3 double play to get him out of a jam.
Meanwhile, the offense kept racking up walks and hits.
Gore’s two-out RBI single tied the game at 6 in the bottom of the third. The Vikings took the lead for good in the fourth. Butler started the inning with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch. Brockett then roped a single to right to put NK ahead.
Brockett ended up going to second on another wild pitch, and Ryan Pugh brought him in with a single. After a ground out, Ryan Hayden came through with an RBI-single, and Gore followed with his second double of the game to score Hayden.
“Our kids did a good job of getting key hits in key situations,” Weible said. “I thought we ran the bases really well. We had some real disciplined at bats and made their pitchers work.”
NK tacked on two more in the fifth on a two-RBI single from Quinn Knivila-Ritchie. Cole Edwards pitched the final two innings and faced the minimum, striking out four.
The teams will meet again Tuesday at Central Kitsap for the back half of their home-and-home series.
North Kitsap 12, Central Kitsap 6
CK 0 5 1 0 0 0 0 — 6 5 4
NK 2 3 1 4 2 0 x — 12 11 1
WP: Brockett LP: Silivelio
CK — Cooper 2 IP, 2 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 4 K; Silivelio 2 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 4 ER; Barr IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB; Tolentino-Balagtas IP, BB, 2 K.
NK — Brockett 5 IP 5 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 8 K; C. Edwards 2 IP, 4 K.
CK — Flaugher 1-3, 2B, 3 RBI; Ferguson 1-3, RBI, R; Rodriguez 1-3, RBI, R; Lindstrom 2-3, R.