Sports

Trojans club Cougars, continue winning ways against rivals

Schools often go through periods of glory and rough times.

Friday’s baseball game between Silverdale’s 4A rivals Central Kitsap High and Olympic High exemplified that as the Trojans prevailed 7-2 in a Narrows League Bridge Division game.

Because Olympic plays at CK while its field is constructed this year, the duel was recognized as a home game for Olympic (7-2, 3-0 league). But the game site hasn’t mattered much recently between the rivals as the Trojans haven’t lost against the Cougars in nearly five years. CK, which has lost 10 consecutive games against Olympic. The Cougars last defeated the Trojans, 14-11, on May 4, 1999, at Olympic.

After both teams missed several scoring opportunities early, the Trojans took advantage of several CK throwing errors and wildness by pitcher Matt Phillips to take a 6-0 advantage. Olympic first baseman Jeff Shaw did the bulk of the damage, hitting a two-run double, before Robert Cook — the 10th batter of the inning — grounded out to end the inning.

“We don’t panic when we have a slow inning,” said Olympic coach Nate Andrews, referring to the early part of the game. “I don’t care about the first two innings as long as they don’t give up runs.”

Andrews said his team likes to take pitches early in the game to study the pitcher, which paid off against CK (1-5, 0-3). The mental misques by the Cougars also didn’t hurt.

“We’re always looking for an extra out,” Andrews said. “We took advantage of those opportunities.”

Phillips (1-2) left after the fourth inning, allowing six runs — none earned — seven hits, three walks and three strikeouts.

Reliever Bryce Wentworth pitched the final two innings, surrendering one run on a home run by center fielder Chester Thomas in the sixth inning. Thomas, who went 1-for-3 with two runs and an RBI, was hit in the elbow on a pitch by Phillips in the fourth inning.

“It felt good,” said Thomas, referring to the home run. “I shoved it in their face.”

Third baseman Aaron Johnson produced the Cougars’ only runs. Johnson, who went 1-for-2 with 2 RBI, hit a double down the first-base line in the sixth inning off Olympic starter Reid Kessler (1-0), which scored Phillips. Johnson picked up his other RBI the following inning when he walked with the bases loaded, which scored left fielder Brian Huff.

Those were the only blemishes on an otherwise stellar performance by Kessler, who recorded a complete game and six strikeouts to earn his first career victory.

“It was long overdue,” said Kessler, a senior. “I’ll go out with the boys and have some fun. I can’t just sit home and watch TV after that.”

Kessler, who allowed five hits, said his plan was simple.

“I went right after every batter,” he said. “I wasn’t trying to pitch around anyone.”

Bill Baxter, who returned to coach the Cougars this year after resigning following the 1999 season to pursue a master’s degree, said his younger players need to reduce their mental errors.

“It’s time to stop,” he said. “I don’t care how old you are, those are plays that need to be made."

The Trojans have won 10 consecutive games against their cross-town rivals.

Here is a breakdown of the games since CK’s last win during the 1999 season.

April 2, 2004: *At Olympic 7, CK 2

April 25, 2003: Olympic 6, at CK 5

April 10, 2003: At Olympic 10, CK 3

April 24, 2002: At Olympic 3, CK 2

April 2, 2002: Olympic 7, at CK 1

May 3, 2001: At Olympic 6, CK 1

April 17, 2001: Olympic 16, at CK 3

May 5, 2000: At Olympic 10, CK 2

April 11, 2000: Olympic 5, at CK 3

May 6, 1999: Olympic 5, at CK 3

May 4, 1999: CK 14, at Olympic 11

* Denotes Olympic home game played at CK.

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