CK edges Oly in summer league action

One run made all the difference as Central Kitsap topped Olympic 4-3 in Junior American Legion action on Monday.

Central Kitsap (15-2) got solid relief pitching from Drew Vettleson, stopping a potential rally in the fifth and silencing the bats the rest of the way. Olympic starter Riley Crow threw a gem, scattering five hits and striking out seven, but timely defensive mistakes and costly offensive miscues by the Tigers prevented Crow from recording his seventh win of the season.

In the fourth, the Cougars got on the board when Howard McDonald led off with a walk and stole second. McDonald advanced to third on an errant throw by Olympic catcher Zach Bird and then scored on a overthrow from center field. Cole Adams followed with a walk and stole second. After Crow struck out Cameron Salley, Vettleson hit an RBI double to left-center to score Adams. Vettleson then scored on a throwing error by shortstop Tyler Marshall. 

“There is no question that we tried to do too much in some situations,” Tigers coach Nate Andrews said. “You can’t be disappointed by the effort, but there are good times to take risks and bad times to take risks. We are still very young and inexperienced in many ways and when you play solid teams, it’s difficult to recover from five errors in the field.”

After answering with three runs in the fourth and tying the game, Olympic had a chance to pull away in the fifth with runners on second and third with no outs. However, a miscue by Olympic that led to an easy out and effective relief work by Vettleson cancelled out any hope. Vettleson struck out Oly’s Elliot Thorsen and after loading the bases with a walk, struck out Jordan Halstead to end the threat.

“There are little things in baseball that should be understood at this level but that isn’t always the case,” said Andrews. “We have a lot to learn yet. I assumed my batter knew we were hitting away in a situation and miscommunication cost us an out. That’s why we are out here in the summer though. We play and we learn. Fortunately, my guys don’t like losing and they want to get better. Today was a good learning experience for everyone. I can think of two key mistakes I made today too.”

Central Kitsap suffered two losses to end it’s undefeated season however, falling narrowly 7-6 to Graham-Kapowsin Orange on Tuesday and again 13-3 at Bonney Lake (15-2) Wednesday.

CK and Oly will do battle again Tuesday at 6 p.m. at CKHS.

Olympic (14-3), having already clinched a birth to the district tournament, was looking to pass up Bonney Lake in the standings Tuesday, but Bonney Lake starting pitcher Michael Wheeler didn’t plan to make that an easy task.

Wheeler threw a gem, giving up only five hits and striking out four before being relieved by hard-throwing Cody Resser in the sixth, who slammed the door on the Tigers in a 4-3 loss.

Thorsen (4-2) logged a solid effort on the mound but the offense couldn’t capitalize on the few opportunities granted by Bonney Lake.

“We had a couple situations with men in scoring position and we didn’t get the big hit when we needed it,” Andrews said. “We played better defensively but we need to be more consistent in making the routine play. Good teams make you pay heavily for every mistake.”

Halstead led the offensive effort, going 2-3, scoring two of the three runs and stealing a base.

Thursday, Olympic topped River Ridge 11-9 in a non-leaguer.

But it was hard to tell the game was a non-league baseball game.

Olympic, currently the Northern Division’s third-place team, could eventually face River Ridge, the current first-place team in the Southern Division, in the district tournament, beginning on July 24.

“It wasn’t a pretty game at all,” Andrews said. “Defensively, we made a lot of mistakes, but fortunately our bats were hot and we got enough offense to make up for it. I’m certain if we face them in the district tournament, the game will be quite a bit different from this one.”

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