Sports

Too many LOBs for Rangers

A lack of timely hitting continues to plague the Olympic College baseball team.

“We’re getting opportunities, we’re just not cashing in,” OC first-year coach Mike Reese said after losing 4-1 and 6-2 to Everett at Legion Field on Saturday, April 13.

Sunday, the Rangers beat Shoreline 8-4 in the opener at Edmonds and appeared to be on their way to a sweep, but the Dolphins rallied from a 9-2 deficit to send the game into extra inings. The game was suspended because of darkness in the top of the 12th. It’ll be picked up at that point when the Dolphins visit Bremerton on May 11.

Olympic left 19 runners on base in its losses against Everett, a team the Rangers beat 10-1 earlier in the season. A bright spot was Austin Hendershot, who drove in OC’s only run in the opener and was 4-for-4 with a double in the second game.

In the win over Shoreline, Spencer Stark had a two-run double during a four-run second inning and the Bremerton catcher hit a solo home run in the fifth. Pitcher Jon Clapper, an Olympic grad who’d been used exclusively in relief, made his first start and the lefty threw six strong innings to get the win.

Pitcher Jeff Berend pitched five perfect innings in the nightcap before Shoreline starting chipping away. The Dolphins got to OC’s relief pitching to send the game into extra innings, scoring two runs in the bottom of the ninth.

Reese has been juggling his lineup, which has been limited because of injuries and other reasons. Defensively, the lack of a true shortstop has hurt the Rangers.

Four returning sophomores — pitchers Josh Wilson (academics) and Eric Dickinson (shoulder), second baseman Greg Larson (shoulder) and outfielder Colin King (hamstring) — who were being counted on haven’t played at all. Dickinson, a Central Kitsap lefty, needs surgery to repair a torn labrum.

Freshman Mike Dressler, who was hitting .358 and playing excellent defense in center field, has been slowed by a deep knee bruise since a collision in OC’s NWAACC opener on March 30.

Freshman pitcher Derek Winderl from Bremerton, who gave the Rangers some quality innings early in the season, had his shoulder examined earlier this week after complaining of pain in the rotator cuff area.

Olympic (2-9 NWAACC North, 7-14 overall) hosts Seattle University today, April 17, in a 6 p.m. non-league game at Legion Field and takes on Skagit Valley in a 1 p.m. doubleheader at Legion on Saturday, April 20.

OC faces Highline today

Olympic College’s fastpitch continues to beat up on the teams in the bottom of the NWAACC North, pounding visiting Shoreline 8-0 on a rain-soaked Saturday at Pendergast Regional Park. The Rangers were leading the second game 9-4 with one out in the top of the fifth inning when umpires ruled the field unplayable.

The second game will resume at that point when the Rangers visit Shoreline on May 10.

Today, April 17, OC (8-3 NWAACC North, 11-7 overall) gets a tougher test, taking on Highline in a 2:30 p.m. doubleheader at Pendergast. Highline (9-1, 10-4) played Edmonds (9-0, 11-6) in a battle of league leaders on Tuesday, April 16. The Rangers, who lost twice against Edmonds, are currently fourth in the NWAACC North.

Carri Lefler, a South Kitsap product, pitched a one-hitter against Shoreline in a game that was shortened to five innings because of the 8-run rule. She struck out two while improving to 4-0 on the season.

OC took advantage of seven walks and six hit batters against the inexperienced Dolphins (1-8, 1-12).

The Rangers play in an NWAACC Crossover Tournamenmt, April 20-21, in Salem, Ore.

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