West Sound Krushed by split

"The West Sound Baseball Club's 18-year-old team didn't roll up a 5-1 early-season record playing the way it played Saturday.The Sounders' coach, Corky Franklin, said Saturday's doubleheader split with the Tacoma Krushers at Central Kitsap High School's Huey Field wasn't an accurate reflection of his team's early-season play.We hung in there pretty well, but we can play a lot better, said Franklin, after West Sound beat the Krushers 7-5 in the first game and dropped a 7-4 decision in the nightcap. I think that instead of playing to the level we can play, we played to the level of our opponents.That was no knock on the visitors, who out-hit West Sound 9-5 in the first game, which counted in league standings that will determine seeding into the Connie Mack state tournament later this summer. The second game was a non-counting affair.Both games were played in intermittent rain and gusts - which intensified Sunday to wash out a scheduled doubleheader between the Sounders and Seattle Arsenal at Klahowya.Saturday's split left the Sounders, who open play Thursday in a tournament at Walla Walla, at 6-2 going into last night's home contest against Seattle Baseball.It also left Franklin - who coached the Olympic College baseball team in the spring - shaking his head.We really should've won both games, he said. But this really isn't the way we've been playing. We've been much better.Saturday, ducking in and out of the rain squalls all afternoon, the Sounders could merely show flashes. The best of them, a six-run rally in the fifth inning of the opener, was enough to power them to the victory.Catcher Luke Hanley doubled in one run and scored another in the Krushers' three-run rally that broke a 1-all tie in the third inning of the nightcap. West Sound got one run back immediately when Mike Stadshaug drew a bases-loaded walk, and narrowed the deficit to 4-3 on Scott Hartung's leadoff home run in the fifth, a rocket that cleared the old football grandstand beyond the right center field fence.But Tacoma had a putaway rally stored up for the seventh inning, and they got some help from West Sound starter Ernie Parsons, who walked two batters with two outs to set the table for Bobbie Poeltl, who homered to right center for a 7-3 lead.Despite the rain, which had intensified to a steady downpour, the Sounders showed no signs of giving up. They loaded the bases with nobody out on a walk, a single by Hartung and a sizzling line drive by Kyle Anderson that bludgeoned its way right through the glove of Krushers shortstop Robbie Seffens. The Sounders could produce only one run, on Stadshaug's RBI single to right.Franklin was quick to point out that, despite the split, the Sounders had played solidly on defense, committing just two errors on the day, and the pitching - by Eric Dickinson and Ken Justice in the opener and Parsons going all the way in Game 2, was more than adequate.We'll get the bats going again, he said. We've got some help coming in, and we've got a lot of guys here already who can swing the bats. We just didn't hit all that well today.The most welcome help will come behind the plate, where South Kitsap's Virgil Putzke has gone ironman through the first eight games. Late arrivals Jeff Farman (Olympic) and Zack Seals (Klahowya) will give the Sounders some depth behind the plate.Those two guys, we could also stick in the outfield, or use in a lot of different situations, Franklin said. They'll help us, no doubt.Parsons recovered from the Krushers' third-inning uprising to shut Tacoma down until the seventh, getting two of his four strikeouts, walking just one and not allowing a hit.Ernie did a real good job, Franklin said. He threw a lot of strikes, had good control, and let us get back into the game."

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