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All-Kitsap squad loaded with local talent
What a spring it was.
The greater Silverdale area used this past baseball season to display some of its collective brilliance on the diamond, but if this spring was any indication, the best is yet to come.
Central Kitsap advanced all the way to the regional finals before finally bowing out this year. Led by a great senior core of players like Caleb Brown, Dan Zylstra, Glen Hewey and Will Morris, the Cougars overcame the graduation of key pitching with a collection of the hottest bats in the county. Few teams kept up with CK’s offensive pace, which ended up totaling 261 runs in 27 games. That was 75 more than the next closest team (South Kitsap, 186).
And while those seniors graduate, a group of great youngsters returns, led by talent like Drew Vettleson, Casey Bohlmann and Nate Roberts, just to name a few.
Olympic too made it back to the state regional round, dropping several ranked teams along the way. Not bad for a team with just three seniors starting a couple freshmen. The Trojans rallied behind its youth, with sophomores like Riley Crow, Zach Bird, Jordan Halstead and more leading the charge. With so many returners next year, including eight starters, the Trojans will only get better with time. The Trojans also had to overcome the loss of some key players to injuries and illnesses this season, only adding to their accomplishments.
And while the season didn’t go as well as Klahowya had hoped (the Eagles were eliminated at districts by Kingston), the Eagles had plenty to feel good about. After ace senior Rusty Devitt went down, many people wrote the Eagles off altogether. But pitchers stepped up, with Eric Eley and Kurtis Pitcher taking the main mound duties. Combined with the top offensive efforts of brothers Jordan and Seth Green, Devitt and others, the Eagles showed they were no one-man show. And while they lose key seniors like Jordan Green and Devitt, they too return a large core of talent.
The All-Kitsap County teams are compiled by the sports writers for the Bainbridge Island Review, the Bremerton Patriot, the Central Kitsap Reporter, the North Kitsap Herald and the Port Orchard Independent. Candidates for the team are nominated by the writers for their respective areas.
The nominees are then voted on by the writers, with the top vote-getters making the teams. Two honorable mentions are selected from each school for each sport. The teams include the best players from area schools who not only performed well individually, but played a role in the success of their team as well.
2008 All-Kitsap County Baseball Team
P - Riley Crow, sophomore, Olympic: It didn’t take long for the sophomore Crow to make his presence felt at the high school level. Crow set a new school record for wins in a season in going 9-2 with a 1.33 ERA in 63 1/3 innings. Even more impressive was that Crow struck out 62 in that span. No slouch at the plate either, Crow helped his own cause with a .317 batting average, 11 runs and 12 RBI. Part of a large sophomore core that advanced to state, Crow will be one of many looking to help the Trojans return.
P - Tyler Sullivan, junior, Kingston: Sullivan is an athlete who knows how to throw the heat, racking up 58 strikeouts this season, nine of which came during the Bucs’ district playoff game. During that same game, Sullivan’s arm was so on target he only faced 18 batters in six innings. Sullivan also can work from the plate as he has a .415 batting average and tallied 14 RBI.
P - Adam Douty, senior, South Kitsap: At the beginning of the season, South coach Jim Fairweather wasn’t sure Douty would claim a spot on the varsity squad. But after one projected starter became academically ineligible and another was injured, Douty claimed the No. 1 starter role. Despite a fastball that only reached about 75 mph, he finished with a 3-2 record and a 3.80 ERA. He also had 16 strikeouts and walked just six batters in 23 2/3 innings. Douty plans to pitch at Tacoma Community College next year.
P - Casey Bohlmann, junior, Central Kitsap: After graduating Washington State University’s David Stilley and Columbia Basin’s KJ McLean from last year’s state squad, it was unclear who would step up as the Cougs’ top arm. Bohlmann answered that call, finishing 6-1 with a 1.72 ERA on the season. He struck out 29 batters in 40 2/3 innings, but also was stellar with the bat. The part-time outfielder hit .351 with 22 runs and 15 RBI, driving three doubles. Bohlmann will be a key piece to next year’s Cougars.
P - Eli Olson, senior, Bremerton: The team’s top arm as well as bat, Olson carried the Knights as far as he could. With a .426 batting average, 20 stolen in bases in 22 tries and 13 RBI, Olson provided spark and speed to an offense that struggled to score runs. In 68 plate appearances, he never struck out. On the mound, Olson notched 28 strikeouts while walking only 11, throwing 409 strikes on 598 pitches, a 68 percent strike ratio. He allowed 34 earned runs in 40 innings of work. Olson will play at Olympic College next season, joining a Ranger team on the rise.
C - Todd Dalrymple, senior, South Kitsap: Dalrymple was slated to play first base this season, but he ended up behind the plate after Shawn Stayton was injured. He had a .458 batting average with two doubles, two home runs, 14 walks and 15 RBI and didn’t commit an error during the regular season. He plans to play next season at Olympic College.
1B - Chris Jones, senior, Kingston: Jones is an all-around asset to any baseball team, as he can hit, pitch and play the field. Jones’ glove is rarely a question, as he posted a .969 fielding percentage to go with a .414 batting average while plating 15 RBI.
2B - Nate Roberts, junior, Central Kitsap: Another key junior, Roberts showed steady improvement from a great sophomore year, swinging a .379 clip to go along with four doubles, 20 runs and 16 RBI. Also a smooth fielder, Roberts teamed up with shortstop Dan Zylstra to form an exciting double-play combo.
SS - Dan Zylstra, senior, Central Kitsap: The senior shortstop, bound for Columbia Basin, showed his skills on both the field and at the plate for CK, covering short with the state’s best while hitting .380. He was a big force in the Cougars’ offense, batting seven doubles and a pair of homers to go with 28 runs and 20 RBI.
3B - Brady Steiger, junior, South Kitsap: Rated as the 10th-best player in Washington’s 2009 class by Baseball Northwest, Steiger wasn’t challenged often as the Wolves’ No. 3 hitter. He had a team-best 16 walks during the regular season and also had a .456 batting average, seven doubles, five triples, four home runs and 20 RBI. He already has committed to play at Washington State University.
OF - Caleb Brown, senior, Central Kitsap: A true all-around athlete, the all-state tight end and center fielder flashed his potential again this season, hitting .453 with 24 runs, 23 RBI, six doubles and three homers. He hit two more dingers in the Kitsap senior all-star games. Baseball will be in Brown’s future, as the Coug will now choose between college and the pros, having already committed to the University of Washington while also getting taken in the 42nd round of the MLB Draft on June 5 by the Boston Red Sox. No matter where he ends up next year, CK will have a large hole to fill.
OF - Drew Vettleson, sophomore, Central Kitsap: Vettleson showed he could be the guy to weather the most in Brown’s loss next year. Rated as the No. 1 prospect from the state for the Class of 2010 by Baseball Northwest, Vettleson has a wicked bat and can pitch — with both arms. While he went 1-1 with a 4.05 ERA, striking out 24 in 19 innings on the hill in his high school debut, Vettleson established himself as a force to be reckoned with at the plate, hitting .449 with 23 runs, seven doubles, two triples, six homers and 33 RBI.
OF - Colin Bowman, senior, Bainbridge: Bowman was the one steady presence on a team decimated by injuries. He hit .440 for the season with a .560 on-base percentage. The co-captain also hit ten doubles, two triples, drove in 11 and scored 15 times while stealing 17 bases.
UTL - Kramer Uvila, senior, North Kitsap: An overall stellar ball player, Uvila cemented his stature as one of the Vikings’ leaders. A good guy to count on in a tight spot, Uvila had a .418 batting average and earned 17 RBI for the year.
UTL - Jordan Green, senior, Klahowya: While it was a tough year for a Klahowya team with high hopes, Green was one Eagle who still flew plenty high. Any ball hit near the speedy senior center fielder became an afterthought, as Green finished with zero errors and a 1.000 fielding percentage. At the plate he was just as brilliant, batting .512 with 10 RBI out of the leadoff spot.
Coach of the Year: Jim Fairweather, South Kitsap: Fairweather lost his two top starting pitchers before the season began, but still guided the Wolves to their second state-playoff appearance in three years along with a Narrows League Bridge Division championship.
Willie Green, senior, Bainbridge, pitcher: Green kept it consistent on the mound this season with a 2-1 record and a 3.80 ERA with 18 strikeouts versus eight walks in 21 1/3 innings.
Reuben Smith, junior, Kingston, shortstop: Smith is a player easily deserving a spot in the lineup. With a batting average of .456, he demonstrated he’s a genuine asset to his team as he tallied 32 RBI.
Justin Roulanaitis, senior, North Kitsap, DH: Roulanaitis knocked in 12 RBI, scored eight runs and swung a .360 batting average to help the Vikings.
Glen Hewey, senior, Central Kitsap, utility: Hewey was an asset for CK at the DH spot, but could also play the outfield. He finished his senior campaign with a .308 average to go with 21 runs, 16 RBI and four homers.
Jordan Halstead, sophomore, Olympic, utility: Whether on the hill or on the field, Halstead was one of several talented sophomores that should keep Oly atop the Olympic League for a while. He went 3-1 with a 2.78 ERA in 27 2/3 innings on the hill, recoding 19 K’s, while hitting .421 with six doubles, 16 runs and a team-best 26 RBI at the plate.
Rusty Devitt, senior, Klahowya, utility: It was a rough year for Devitt, as injuries took one of Kitsap’s top arms off the hill for the most part. He still made a solid contribution however, hitting .433 with 10 RBI and two homers and a .528 on-base percentage as the team’s DH. The sure-armed Devitt is sure to land somewhere next year.
Noel Frederick, senior, Bremerton, outfield: Frederick led the team in home runs and RBI with two and 16 respectively. Hitting .353 on the year, Frederick teamed with Olson to generate the majority of the Knights’ runs. Frederick also swiped seven bags, scoring nine total runs. Defensively, Frederick provided stability in the outfield as he committed only three errors in 46 fielding tries.
Tyler Sartor, senior, South Kitsap, shortstop: Sartor had a .455 batting average, eight doubles, four triples, five stolen bases, two home runs and 10 RBI during the regular season. Sartor plans to play next season at Olympic College.
Colby Morse, junior, Bainbridge, utility: Morse played well wherever he was at this season, finishing with a .350 average with three homers, 15 RBI and 12 runs.
Robert Jordan, senior, Kingston, third base: Jordan stole 12 bases this season and constantly kept any opponents’ infield and pitcher on the lookout as Jordan was constantly looking for the steal. He also carried his team in key plays, regularly making jumps or dives to stop the ball and make the play.
Howard McDonald, junior, Central Kitsap, outfield: McDonald cemented himself on the Kitsap prep sports scene in a big way in the fall as CK’s top running threat and again in the winter as a more-than-capable grappler. McDonald continued to show his athleticism this spring, hitting .383 with 21 runs, three homers and 17 RBI in the Cougars’ outfield.
Bryan Deszell, senior, Olympic, outfield: Deszell shook off a slow start this year to finish with a .360 average as one of a few Trojan seniors. He also had four doubles, 18 runs and 23 RBI. But perhaps his biggest asset was in the outfield, as he transitioned from behind the plate to center field and made several solid plays.
Eric Eley, junior, Klahowya, utility: Eley was a big part of Klahowya’s successes in 2008, hitting an incredible .525 with 20 runs and 14 RBI. He also helped the Eagles on the hill, going 4-3 with a 3.34 ERA as Klahowya’s No. 1, replacing the injured Devitt.
Brett Brown, sophomore, Bremerton, utility: One of many young Knights on the rise, Brown figures to play a tangible role on next year’s squad, returning for his junior year after suiting up 11 times at the varsity level this season. Brown hit .303 in his 11 varsity games.
Ghryn Hobson, junior, South Kitsap, second base: He hit .431 with eight doubles, two stolen bases, one home run and 14 RBI during the regular season.