PORT ORCHARD — The Wolves had a shot to lock up its first-ever South Puget Sound League 4A baseball championship since 2015, but couldn’t overcome some early mistakes.
Fortunately, the team will get another shot at winning the title outright on Monday when the team hosts Rogers at Elton Goodwin Field. Olympia could have tied the Wolves with a win, but were defeated 2-1 by Bellarmine Prep.
South Kitsap last won a league title in 2015, finishing atop the Narrows League, and eventually went on to capture a Class 4A state championship.
But Puyallup’s five-run first inning, aided by two walks and a two-base error, was too much to overcome in Friday’s 9-5 loss.
“It could have been a much closer game, but obviously we didn’t help ourselves,” South Kitsap head coach Marcus Logue said.
Nathaniel Beers drew them closer with a long two-run homer to left field in the second inning, but in the top of the third, the Vikings put up two more runs on a low throw and a drop at first base, which allowed the two runners to score.
South Kitsap had plenty of chances to close the gap, but left 12 runners on base and stranded a runner at third base in four different innings. Hitters were, at times, impatient against Puyallup starter Eli Sevener, who threw nearly as many balls (46) as strikes (52).
“We didn’t make the adjustments we needed to,” Logue said.
The Wolves did stage a mini-rally in the seventh. Rylen Bayne doubled with two outs and was brought home on a Sam Canton RBI-single. After Canton moved up to second on a wild pitch, Hunter McKlosky brought him home with a hard line drive single to center field. But the next hitter flied out to right to end the game.
Finishing in first place would put the Wolves in a more favorable position in the district tournament. The No. 1 team out of the SPSL faces the No. 4 team from the North Puget Sound League at 7 p.m. at Heritage Park in Puyallup on May 7 and would need only a victory in that game to ensure a spot in the 4A state tournament.
Puyallup 9, South Kitsap 5
Puy 5 0 2 1 0 0 1 — 9 7 2
SK 0 2 0 1 0 0 2 — 5 9 2
WP: Sevener LP: Duarte SV: Anderson
Puyallup — Sevener 5.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 7 BB, K; Anderson 1.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 K.
South Kitsap — Duarte 3 IP, 4 H, 7 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 K; Reidy 4 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 K.
Puyallup — Kim 2-4, HR, 2 RBI, 3 R; Pierce 2-4, 2 RBI, R; Johnson 1-3, 2B, BB, 2 R; 1-4, RBI, R; Molmen 0-2, RBI; Anderson 0-2, RBI, BB, R.
South Kitsap — Beers 2-4, HR, 2 RBI, R; Canton 2-4, RBI, BB, R; Bayne 1-3, 2B, BB, 2 R; Moritz 1-4, 2B; Fazio 2-4; McKlosky 1-5, RBI.