Vikings’ sluggish start results in defeat

POULSBO — One bad inning. In one of the biggest upsets of the 2007 season, Narrows League bottom feeder Mount Tahoma (4-14 overall), squeaked out a shocking 5-4 victory against first place North Kitsap (11-4 overall) on a sunny Monday afternoon in Poulsbo. This wasn’t the result the North Kitsap Vikings baseball squad envisioned after trouncing Mount Tahoma 13-3 Saturday in Tacoma. Following the game, Vikings coach Jeff Weible declined to comment on his team’s loss.

POULSBO — One bad inning. In one of the biggest upsets of the 2007 season, Narrows League bottom feeder Mount Tahoma (4-14 overall), squeaked out a shocking 5-4 victory against first place North Kitsap (11-4 overall) on a sunny Monday afternoon in Poulsbo.

This wasn’t the result the North Kitsap Vikings baseball squad envisioned after trouncing Mount Tahoma 13-3 Saturday in Tacoma. Following the game, Vikings coach Jeff Weible declined to comment on his team’s loss.

Mount Tahoma did its damage in the top of the first inning, scoring four runs on six hits. All six were ground balls. North pitcher Chris Jones continually got Mount Tahoma hitters to roll over routine grounders that usually turn into outs. Unfortunately for the Vikings, the grounders on Monday afternoon seemed to find holes time after time. When the top of the first was all said and done, the Vikings trailed 4-0.

In the bottom of the first, North answered, scoring two runs of its own. Andy Smith scored the team’s first run of the contest, scurrying to the plate on a passed ball. Cleanup hitter Kramer Uvila ripped a double over the head of Mount Tahoma’s center fielder later in the inning, scoring Jesse Cummings from third, slicing the lead to 4-2.

In the top of the fifth, Mount Tahoma managed to add another run to its total stretching its lead to 5-2. Finally, in the bottom of the fifth, North began to show some signs of life offensively. After pinch hitter Reuben Smith was beaned by a pitch, Jeff Jones laid down a beautiful bunt single using his speedy legs to beat the throw to first. The throw from Mount Tahoma’s third baseman was in the dirt going out of play allowing Reuben Smith to advance to third. Following an Andy Smith pop out to third, Jesse Cummings strolled up to the plate, where he blasted a deep fly ball to center field that was caught near the warning track. Smith tagged up, scoring from third on the play, cutting the lead to 5-3.

After a scoreless sixth inning, Mount Tahoma threatened to put the game out of reach in the top of the seventh. With one out and runners on first and second, Weible called upon fireballer reliever Tyler Sullivan to take the hill. After walking the first batter he faced, Tucker responded to the challenge at hand striking out Mount Tahoma’s next two batters, giving the Vikings a chance to mount a comeback in the bottom of the seventh. Every pitch Sullivan threw was a fast ball.

With one out in the bottom of the seventh, Reuben Smith delivered a double just out of the reach of Mount Tahoma’s right fielder. Jones then drew a walk on a full count. On the walk the ball got away from Mount Tahoma’s catcher allowing Reuben Smith to advance to third. With runners at the corners leadoff hitter Andy Smith ripped a hard grounder that Mount Tahoma’s second baseman couldn’t handle scoring Reuben Smith from third, cutting Mount Tahoma’s lead to 5-4.

During the play a hustling Jones tried to advance to third. He didn’t make it and was thrown out for the second out of the inning. The potential go ahead run then came to the plate in the form of Cummings. Cummings blasted a deep fly ball that looked like it had a chance to leave the yard for the victory but Mount Tahoma’s center fielder tracked down the high fly ball near the fence making an easy catch in center field for the final out of the game.

Cummings had a spectacular game at the plate for North, going two for three with an RBI in the loss.

North hopes to rebound against fourth place Bellarmine Prep in an important Narrows League contest at 3:45 p.m. Thursday at North Kitsap High School.