PORT ORCHARD — Life on the road is nothing new for the South Kitsap High baseball team.
With the rainy weather that often accompanies the first half of the high school baseball season in Washington, also comes difficult conditions at the Wolves’ home field.
So once again, South Kitsap will play its first 11 games away from Port Orchard. Its home-opener is scheduled for April 9 against Graham-Kapowsin.
“Our mantra is ‘playoff games are on the road,” head coach Marcus Logue said.
“If we can play good teams early on the road, it sets us up for later. Being on the road with your teammates, on the bus, playing against other teams in their atmosphere, prepares us for the postseason.”
And that’s exactly where the Wolves want to go this season with a senior-heavy squad that finished 8-11 in 2017. South Kitsap has three guys who know a lot about postseason play — seniors Dusty Garcia, Alex Garcia and Drew Worden were starters three years ago on the Wolves’ 2015 state championship team. They will be expected to lead the way in their final season.
“They’re doing a really good job each day of being professional and taking care of things,” Logue said.
“I told the players at practice that we need our freshmen to act like seniors and our seniors to act like older, mature college-aged players.”
Dusty Garcia, a future Arizona State Sun Devil, will anchor the lineup. He hit .417 last year and leads the outfield defense in center, while Alex Garcia will be in command from behind the plate at catcher.
Worden is entrenched at shortstop, with Torre DiGiovanni taking reps at second base as well as the outfield. Jordan Duenas will serve as the main first baseman and designated hitter and Nate Wotzksa figures to slot in next to Dusty Garcia in the outfield. Jason Sour has worked in at 3B to get his solid bat more opportunities to be in the lineup. Expect plenty of fireworks from a lineup that should be able to mash this year.
Juniors lefty Jacob Duarte and righty Nathaniel Beers will help lead the rotation, although the Wolves have several arms capable of eating up some innings.
The key to a long postseason run, as it is for so many other teams, is having the pitching depth to get through those weeks where you have three or four games.
“We’ve got a good group of talent, good group of hard workers,” Logue said. “Hopefully we’ll be in the mix at the top of the SPSL and put ourselves in a decent spot as we head towards the postseason.”
March 14, 4:15 p.m. at North Kitsap | March 16, 7 p.m. at O’Dea | March 17, 10 a.m. at Kentwood | March 20, 4 p.m. at Graham-Kapowsin | March 21, 4 p.m. at Sumner | March 26, 7 p.m. at Puyallup | March 27, 4 p.m. at Olympia | March 29, 4 p.m. at Bellarmine Prep | April 2, 7 p.m. at Rogers | April 3, 4 p.m. at Emerald Ridge | April 5, 4 p.m. at Curtis | April 9, 4 p.m., Graham-Kapowsin | April 10, 4 p.m., Sumner | April 17, 4 p.m., Puyallup | April 18, 4 p.m., Olympia | April 20, 4 p.m., Bellarmine Prep | April 24, 4 p.m., Rogers | April 25, 4 p.m., Emerald Ridge | April 27, 4 p.m., Curtis | April 28, 3 p.m. at Gig Harbor.