Sports

BlueJackets end season on a positive note

It took all season, but the Kitsap BlueJackets (12-24) finally figured out how to beat the Bellingham Bells.

The playoff-bound Bells (17-19) had won all five contests against Kitsap heading into Wednesday night’s regular-season finale. In fact, Bellingham was the only team Kitsap had not earned a win against (the Jackets topped league favorites Aloha in an exhibition contest).

And after Tuesday’s 16-3 loss to the Bells, Wednesday’s 6-1 win was all the more meaningful.

Kitsap starter JT Heaton remained on top of his game, allowing the lone run on 5 innings of work, striking out 4 while walking 2.

Heaton finished the season 3-5 with a 2.63 ERA, co-leading the West Coast Collegiate Baseball League in starts (10) while finishing third in innings pitched (65) and led Kitsap in strikeouts with 47.

Kitsap finally got some offense going with late-comer Gabe Riley leading the charge with a pair of RBI on 3-5 hitting. Riley finished his shortened BlueJackets campaign with a .347 average in his 19 contests.

Outfielder Nathan Baker also had a strong game, going 1-3 but scoring twice. Second baseman Kyle Eley also had 2 RBI.

Bellingham made things scary in the bottom of the ninth however, when designated hitter Will Kaage reached safely on an error by Brian burmester at third base, one of three Jackets’ errors in the game. The play allowed Kaage to get all the way to second base.

Closer Mike Tachell then got shortsop Andrew Wrisley to fly out. BlueJackets shortstop Justin Larkin then committed another error to allow Derek Dupree to take first base and move kaage over to third. Tachell made sure he got out of the jam, stirking out one of the batters and getting the last to fly out for his fifth save of the season.

The win ended Kitsap’s season on a positive note, landing them in a tie for last place with Spokane.

Also, Jackets starter Kyle Cline was named the WCCBL Player of the Week after blanking the Wenatchee AppleSox last Sunday, 8-0.

On the season, Cline finished with a great 28-6 strikeouts-to-walks ratio, and lowered his ERA to 2.09 on the year, seventh in the league.

The WCCBL playoffs started last night, with Bellingham and league-leader Wenatchee facing off in the WCCBL Championship Series.

Aloha is defending its National Baseball Congress title and will not participate in the WCCBL playoffs. Had they chose to participate, they would have traveled to Wenatchee to face the Applesox.

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