Sports

More roster additions for BlueJackets

The Kitsap BlueJackets are branching out.

While last year’s squad brought in players from colleges and universities from throughout the U.S., almost all of the players were born in Washington. This year, with the West Coast Collegiate Baseball League’s reputation taking off, the BlueJackets, while keeping a majority of kids that hail from within the state, have added players from California, South Carolina and Philadelphia to name a few.

And while that proves the league is thriving, it will mean some adjustment for out-of-state players, particularly those from California.

“We have a lot of kids from California that haven’t hit with wood before,” BlueJackets coach Matt Acker said. “It’s metal, metal, metal. It’s like Texas ball. You just go out and hit home runs.”

But Acker doesn’t think those adjustments will affect the team too heavily. Part of that reassurance comes from the continued growth of the BlueJackets’ roster.

In February, Kitsap announced seven more first-time BlueJackets: pitchers Aaron Bronson, Joe Hagen, Ross Humes and Kyle Hansen; catcher Brian Rittereiser, infielder Danny Meier and outfielder Doug Buser.

Bronson and Hagan, from Kent and Renton respectively, area already familiar with Acker’s coaching style, as they are currently playing for Green River Community College, where Acker also coaches.

Bronson, a 6-foot, 4-inch sophomore righty, has already accepted an offer to continue his collegiate career at Cenetary College. Kitsap County residents have already gotten a glimpse of Bronson, as his arm was behind the Gators’ 19-0 no-hitter of Olympic College in the season opener last week.

“He’s alright,” Acker said after Bronson’s gem. “He’s very mature. He’s going to see some success in our league.”

Hagen is in his freshman year of eligibility for the Gators after transferring from Central Washington University. Acker said Hagen reminds him of a former Jacket.

“Hagen reminds me a lot of (former BlueJacket pitcher Adam) Balcom,” he said. “A little sharper breaking ball and a little more miles-per-hour. He’s more of a strike-out guy.”

The pitching staff was further solidified with the additions of Hansen, a freshman righty from San Jose (Calif.) Community College, and Humes, a lefty freshman from Washington State University. Humes, from Federal Way’s Decatur High School, was an All-South Puget Sound League first-teamer as a senior, going 5-3 with a 1.93 ERA.

“Hansen’s just a big, hard-throwing kid. We’ll take a chance with him and hopefully it works out,” Acker said. “Humes is a situational pitcher for WSU, a

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