Strong pitching, sound defense and timely hitting — it’s a strategy as old as the game of baseball itself, but it was the recipe for South Kitsap’s success in its 6-2 win over Sumner Wednesday.
Rylen Bayne made several terrific plays at shortstop and went 3-for-3 at the plate with two doubles and the go-ahead RBI, and Kellen Hubbell pitched four shutout innings and knocked in the tying run in the three-run third.
The team scuffled a bit at the plate their first time through the lineup, but the defense kept them in the game as they fell behind 2-0 in the third inning.
Among the highlights in the field was catcher Konnor Sutton throwing out Sumner’s leadoff man on a steal attempt in the first inning; starting pitcher Noah Deese making a calm thrown on a non-force play at third to get a runner out of scoring position in the second inning; and Bayne’s solo double play in the third, in which he caught a line drive and dove toward second base to snag a runner.
“Everyone did their part defensively,” SK coach Marcus Logue said. “And getting down early, no one put their head down.”
The offense finally got going in the bottom of the third as Cole Darcey led off with a bunt single. He moved to third on Bayne’s double, and Deese hit a fly ball to right long enough to score Darcey to score.
Hubbell came on to pitch in the top of the fourth and escaped a jam as runners were on first and third with no one out. And in the bottom of the fourth, he clubbed a double to left on a hit-and-run that scored outfielder Gary Mullins to tie the game.
“That swing, the hit-and-run, was money. It was timely,” Logue said. “That’s the type of kid he is.”
Bayne came up with two outs and singled to left to chase home Hubbell’s courtesy runner Ty Orser for the go-ahead run. Bayne later moved to third on a dropped third strike and scored on a wild pitch.
South Kitsap tacked on two more in the sixth as Bayne and Deese picked up two-out hits. Jordan Poland then reached on a throwing error, allowing Bayne to score. After Sean Shaffer was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Orser walked to bring in the final run.
“Once we got the game in motion, got some runners on and put pressure on the pitchers and got ahead in some counts, we were able to put pressure on their defense and have some success,” Logue said.
Meanwhile, Hubbell slammed the door on the mound. After giving up those two singles in the fourth, he retired the final 12 batters to close out the game.
The Wolves are off to a 2-0 start this year, after handily defeating Bellarmine Prep 12-1 in their opener.
“It’s good to have a game like this where you get down early, and you have to respond,” Logue said.
South Kitsap 6, Sumner 2
SU 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 — 2 6 1
SK 0 0 1 3 0 2 x — 6 9 0
WP: Hubbell LP: Bresnahan
Sumner — Bresnahan 3.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 4 K; Higgenbottom 2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 K; Adcox .1 IP, BB, K.
South Kitsap — Deese 3 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB; Hubbell 4 IP, 2 H, 2 K.
Sumner — Mentink 1-2, 2B, 2 RBI; Gallagher 1-3, R; Haines 1-3, R; Martinson 1-3, SB; Jones 1-3, SB; Kelly 1-3.