Sports

Tigers trouncing early competition

t Oly summer-leaguers get an inside look at what to expect in high school.

By AARON MANAGHAN

Sports editor

So far this summer, the Tigers have had no problems earning their stripes.

The Tigers, Olympic High School’s summer Junior American Legion team, has been on a roll this season, winning their fifth-straight game Wednesday to improve to 10-3 overall (5-0 in league) this summer.

But coach Nate Andrews knows the hardest part is yet to come.

“At the same time, we’re not playing the teams to beat in our division,” Andrews said. “It’s a good warm up, we’re doing well, but the tougher part of the road is coming up. Those are the ones we’re trying to get after.”

At the same time, Andrews said it would have been easy for his guys to play to the level of the competition. Instead, they blew out Graham-Kapowsin Blue 11-0 in a no-hit effort from starter Riley Crow and relievers Christopher Campbell and Zach Bird. With the exception of an 8-5 win Tuesday against Bremerton Post 68’s Juinior Legion squad (different from the Senior Legion team), Andrews said the Tigers have put down the teams they should.

“I’ve been really happy with that,” he said. “Besides Bremerton, we’ve stayed really focused and really blew those guys out.”

In Wednesday’s win, Bird and Crow also shared catching duties when not on the mound, helping call the no-no and throw it. Elliot Thorsen went 2-2 with two runs and 3 RBI while Ian Krein ripped two doubles and scored three runs. Bird helped his own cause with a 2-3 effort, ripping two doubles and driving three in.

Thorsen hit a homer against Post 68 Tuesday, while Bird went 3-4. Chris Groat was 2-4 with a triple and Krein was 2-4 with two RBI.

The Tigers also played GK Blue Monday, rocking Graham-Kapowsin 16-0 while allowing just two hits. Campbell went a perfect 3-3 at the plate, with three doubles. Bryan Deszell was 2-4 with a pair of RBI and Crow drove in two while batting 2-3. In his only at bat, Cody Aerne hit a two-run double.

Ultimately, Andrews said it’s been nice to get so many players field time.

“We’ve really gotten some guys quite a bit of playing time,” he said. “Everybody is getting at-bats, innings pitched.”

Thorsen, Deszell and Tyler Marshall are the top Trojans on the Tigers’ squad, with each seeing significant time for Oly during the high school seasons.

“It was interesting because at first, Bryan Deszell and Elliot Thorsen were kind of struggling a little bit,” Andrews said. “They had a rest of about 20 days. They were getting hits, but you could tell they weren’t comfortable. But they’ve really warmed up. Bryan is leading the team in hitting and Elliot is starting to heat up.”

Marshall’s been a little less lucky however.

“Tyler’s just run into luck,” Andrews said. “The first ball that was hit in our district game hit him in the eye and took him out of the playoffs. He still can’t wear his contacts. But he’s been playing well despite the circumstances. Then he sprained his ankle in our last game.”

And with six ninth-graders and a pair of eighth-graders, Andrews said the summer season provides a great opportunity to integrate future Trojans into the program.

“These are kids that have never been in our program,” he said. “It’s nice to get the younger kids out there and see how we do things and let them bond with the guys in high school. They’ve really taken a liking to one another. They’ve got that real winning mentality and they won’t settle for anything else.”

Some of the youngsters making a difference this summer have been Crow, Jordan Halstead and Krein.

“Riley’s been pitching well, as has Jordan Halstead,” Andrews said. “But Ian’s offense has been solid. He’s one of our leading hitters and he’s doing a wonderful job.”

Bremerton’s roster includes players from throughout the county, making those games fun for everyone involved, Andrews said.

“You bet,” he said. “We played them in the tourney at the beginning of the year, play them in league. They improved too. We only gave up one earned run. We kind of kept them in that game. We beat ’em, but they were right there.”

Andrews said his players enjoy getting to keep up rivalries with their former junior high teammates and opponents.

“Once the high school season is over, they’re still playing ball, going right out after each other,” Andrews said.

While Olympic’s summer program has been around since 2002, with Oly assistants Mike Giersch and Matt Sanford taking the reigns previously, this is the first year Andrews, the high school head coach, has headed up the summer crew. Andrews was unable to coach the team previously.

“I’ve had great support here,” Andrews said. “Mike ran the program the first years, Matt ran it the last couple years. Without those guys being willing to and giving their time, it wouldn’t have happened, literally.”

The Tigers aren’t the only ones getting integrated into Oly’s program, as Andrews said parental support also has been “phenomenal” this summer.

“One of the other things that’s been nice is we’re getting really great support from all our parents,” He said. “We have a really phenomenal, super group of parents.”

The Tigers will take on Sedro-Woolley, Burlington and Lakeside in an away tournament this weekend before returning to the Kitsap Fairgrounds Ballfields Monday for a 4 p.m. game against Lakes.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Nov 21
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates