EAST BREMERTON — Whether their destination is becoming part of a Division I or junior college baseball program, or perhaps they are playing their final competitive high school contest, the annual Kitsap Senior All-Star Baseball Game represents the last chance for many locals to see some of the Kitsap County’s best players.
In this year’s 51st edition all-star game at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds, presented by the Kitsap Athletic Roundtable, Fred Buckson of Central Kitsap and Cale Dower of Olympic shared MVP honors by helping guide the National All-Stars to a 13-1 victory over the American All-Stars.
Dower, who started on the mound for the Nationals, ended up working five innings and gave up just one hit to the last batter he faced, South Kitsap’s Nolan Helgestad.
Normally, pitchers throw one or two innings in an all-star game to allow other players a chance to take the hill. But with Dower working on a no-hitter, the National coaching staff — which included Olympic’s Nate Andrews, Central Kitsap’s Bill Baxter and Bremerton’s Stephen Dickey — kept sending him back out.
“That’s what we were kind of thinking — a couple of guys for two innings each,” said Dower, who will be attending Grays Harbor Community College in the fall.
“It was a lot of fun just to get together with everybody.”
Buckson served as the Nationals’ lead-off hitter and set the tone for his team’s performance early with a solid single to start the game off Jason Sauer of South Kitsap. In all, Buckson picked up four hits — including a double — and flashed plenty of leather at shortstop with several great plays. He is off to Edmonds Community College in the fall, along with South Kitsap catcher Alex Garcia.
“I’m really excited, but it’s also a little sad because I have a lot of underclass friends,” Buckson said. “I’m excited for the future.”
Garcia, who missed the game because of illness, was given the Dick Todd Award by the Olympic Peninsula Officials Association. It is given to a player that demonstrates outstanding leadership.
A two-run single by Central Kitsap’s Tristan Barr put the Nationals ahead 4-0 after one inning. Olympic’s Kylen Pereira, Jared Geier and Evan Turnquist each picked up RBI singles and Central Kitsap’s Rylee Orteza picked up a triple and a single.
Drew Worden of South Kitsap drove in the lone run for the Americans on an RBI double.
The two teams also included players from schools outside Kitsap County, including Sequim, Port Angeles, Chimacum and Port Townsend.
Held simultaneously at the softball field just a few feet away was the 16th annual Fastpitch All-Star Showcase, which allows players of all grade levels to compete. Fans were treated to an exciting 12-11 win for the Nationals. Offensive highlights included home runs by Port Angeles’s Natalie Steinman, who was named the game’s MVP, and Bremerton freshman Mia Falotico.
Central Kitsap’s Zee Young shared the Dick Todd Award for sportsmanship and leadership with Bainbridge’s Maddie Loverich.
Olympic — Cale Dower, P/1B; Keaton Dean, P/INF; Evan Turnquist INF/P; Jared Geier, OF; Kylen Pereira, C; Elijah Trottman, SS/2B/P.
Central Kitsap — Tristan Barr, OF; Fred Buckson, SS/2B; Rylee Orteza, OF; Teagan Taafe, INF.
Bremerton — Eli Isenhart, 2B.
Klahowya — Ben Streck, INF.
South Kitsap — Alex Garcia, C; Drew Worden, INF/OF; Dusty Garcia, OF; Jason Sauer, P/INF; Nate Wotzka, OF; Torre DiGiovanni, INF/P; Garrison Glisson, P; Aron Corso, INF/OF; Nolan Helgestad, INF.
North Kitsap — Ryan Hecker, P/OF; Peter Klos, OF; Jordan Robbins, OF/P.
Kingston — Gage Updegrove, OF; Ethan Sax, INF.