"SK rains, and hails, on Cougs' parade"

"PORT ORCHARD - Elton Goodwin says he wants to play. And on a day like Monday, you had to believe him.Temperatures dipped near the 30s. Cold rain and hail pelted from a sky that threatened even worse. This was not baseball weather.By the time the nonleague game between Goodwin's South Kitsap Wolves and visiting Central Kitsap was in the fifth inning, even Goodwin's resolve was in the cooler.I'm just glad, he said, that Travis (Vetters) grabbed a bat and went up there and ended it.Vetters' sharp single to left center field drove in Shane Starkweather with the Wolves' 11th run with one out in the bottom of the fifth, giving SK an 11-1 lead and ending the scheduled seven-inning contest early by virtue of the 10-run rule.The game was part of a scheduled Spring Vacation regimen of six games in 10 days for South, mixing both nonleaguers and Narrows League contests. For CK, it was a bridge between the last Olympic game before the vacation, back on March 30, and the Cougars' next league encounter on April 10.And after his team mustered just one hit against SK pitchers Brian Cox and Kris Cleaver, coach Ryan Rongcal could only hope that the game was not a harbinger of what life is going to be like when the Oly League's five Class 4A teams join the Narrows next year.If so, the world is going to be a cold, cold place.That guy (Cox) is a pretty well put-together pitcher, said Rongcal of Cox, who threw four innings, giving up only an infield single to Scott Lebas while striking out four. I was surprised to find out he's just a sophomore. He threw strikes, he had great command of his breaking pitch, and he threw hard.Cleaver, who started the game at catcher, made his first mound appearance of the season mopping up in the fifth, whiffing two of the four batters he faced.I thought the kids we threw today pitched very well, said Goodwin. He's just a sophomore, but we're kind of high on Cox right now. He's gonna be a part of this (varsity) club.The weather being what it was, there was some doubt about whether or not the nonleague game would be played. And to get it in, the two teams had to endure a hailstorm, a spattering or two of rain, and temperatures more appropriate for basketball season.The day cooperated just enough, however, for the abbreviated contest to be played - which was fine with Goodwin.I want to play. I hope we can come back (Tuesday for a Narrows matchup with Gig Harbor), he said. This is a good week for us to see some guys work.Offensively, the Wolves had 12 hits, but Goodwin admitted it took them a little while to solve CK starter Josh Goffin.We had to get some patience against that kid, he said. It's called discipline, I think. Once we did that, we hit the ball OK.Vetters and Dominic Rio were a little better than OK, with three hits apiece. And the Wolves mixed in a good measure of power, rapping five doubles in the heavy air.At the other end of the spectrum, the Cougars continued to flounder on offense, according to Rongcal.We've been struggling with the bats for a while, he said. We're just inconsistent, I think that's the way to say it. We've got to find a rhythm, and get some confidence up there.We'll have some good practices the rest of the week, said Rongcal, whose team next plays April 10 when it hosts Olympic. Hopefully, we'll get it going a little bit by then. "

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