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Trojans sweep South for first baseball wins
For whatever reason, the Olympic Trojans always seem to step up against South Kitsap on the diamond.
Its nothing different than what I told the kids, SK coach Jim Fairweather said following Olympics 8-2 and 6-3 sweep of the Wolves at the Kitsap Fairgrounds Ballfields on Tuesday. Every time we play them, no matter what their record, they get up for these games.
The then-0-8 Trojans had been having a hard time putting together timely hitting to go with solid defense and pitching. The then-4-2 Wolves remained tied atop the Narrows Leagues Bridge Division with an undefeated league record.
But just as Fairweather said, it didnt matter when the teams met Tuesday, just as it hadnt last season, when SK was 13-7 and Oly just 9-10. The Wolves fell to Oly 7-3 before squeaking out a 7-6 11-inning win. In 2004 it was the same, with both teams at 10-4 in the Bridge. But again, they split, with South winning 8-3 and falling 9-7 in 8 innings. In 2003, the 5-9 Trojans lost to the 12-2 Wolves 9-5 but rallied to win the second battle 6-4.
But no matter the reason, Oly coach Nate Andrews likes the end result.
Not a bad way at all, the Trojans coach said of the teams first 2006 victories. We had some great pitching and some great defense. In high school, on any day you get great pitching and defense, youre gonna score some runs.
Led by great pitching efforts from Mark Fojtik and Ronnie Purser, the Trojans contained South Kitsaps offense, as the Wolves have also struggled with timely hitting this season.
Small lapses helped Oly get the upper hand Tuesday, as the Wolves played right into Fojtiks hands in the first game. Fojtik, more of a ground-ball pitcher who relies on his defense, got South to scatter six singles in the game, not giving up the Wolves pair of runs until the bottom of the seventh inning. South was the home team in the first game after Mondays game was rained out.
It feels pretty good, Fojtik said of his near shutout. Our team needed it.
With more parity this season than last, when North Kitsap dominated, Andrews said Oly could still sneak into the playoff picture.
The games we have to win we havent played yet, Andrews said. If we play the baseball were capable of, we could sneak in. But its one step at a time. Our focus right now is Shelton (on Tuesday).
The Trojans finally got the timely hitting theyve been waiting for, hitting Andrew Thatcher for seven runs in the first game. Nick Bankus proved hes further recovered from a knee injury during football, as Olys top player went 2-3 with a pair of RBI. PT Whalen went 1-3 with 2 RBI and Jason Bernett was 1-4 but smacked a 2-run double.
Anything is possible, Whalen said after the first win. Were a solid team when everything comes together.
Whalen said a turning point for the team came over break, when the team got together to watch Murderball, an inspirational documentary about quadriplegic rugby players.
That really got us together, Whalen said. It got us away from baseball and put things in a new perspective for us.
In the second game, Olympic scored five runs in the fifth and sixth innings to break a 1-1 tie and secure the eventual 6-3 win.
To me, Ronnie and Mark were key in setting the tone, Andrews said of his starters. And the defense behind them making plays right out of the gate. It was just a nice all-around effort. Every single guy in the lineup somehow contributed to those games.
Olympic (2-8, 2-4) travels to winless Shelton Tuesday before hosting the Highclimbers at 3:45 p.m. Wednesday.