Sports

Kitsap Bluejackets hit another valley, swept by Bells

After long win streak, Bells give Kitsap wake-up call.

The Kitsap BlueJackets roller coaster continues.

After starting the 2008 season winless through their first seven contests, the BlueJackets bounced back big, winning six in a row en route to a 12-3 run that saw the squad streak within three games of West Coast Collegiate Baseball League West Division leader’s Corvallis (Ore.).

Well, the Bells, last in the West at 11-13, sent Kitsap on the next drop on its roller coaster ride, sweeping the BlueJackets (12-12 in WCCBL play) with a 5-3 win on Thursday.

Kitsap fell behind early when the Bells tagged starter Paul Dickey for three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Kitsap pulled back within a run thanks to a fifth-inning RBI single by Lawson Hipps before the Bells tacked on two more in the bottom of that frame. Keegan McCamment tried to close the gap for the BlueJackets, hitting a solo homer in the ninth after replacing starter Brian Heere, but it was too little, too late.

Dickey (1-4) fell to a league-worst fourth loss, giving up five runs — four earned — on eight hits in five innings of work, walking one while striking out three. Jeff Brooks pitched two strong innings of relief, walking just one while recording three strikeouts as well.

Wednesday saw the Bells blank Kitsap 5-0 with Bellingham starter Matt Stabelfeld throwing a one-hitter. His control was spotty at times, however, walking five and hitting Hipps. Buser had the lone hit for Kitsap in the loss.

In Tuesday’s series opener, the Bells outslugged Kitsap 8-5 in a game that saw 11 total runs in the first three innings. Bucky Aona went 2 for 5 with a run and two RBI, while Hipps also was 2 for 5 with two RBI.

Chad Wagner got tagged for that loss, giving up seven runs in five innings to fall to 1-3.

Kitsap swept Bellingham at home earlier this season.

The BlueJackets kicked off a three-game road series at Kelowna (British Columbia) Friday that runs through tomorrow. Result of Friday’s contest were unavailable at press time.

Kitsap returns home to Lobe Fields at the Fairgrounds on Tuesday, July 15 against East Division leaders Wenatchee.

Short hops

Kitsap outfielder Doug Buser has reached base in every game he’s logged at at-bat since June 13 when he went 0 for 3 against Corvallis in the Jackets’ second league game of the season. That’s a streak of 20 games (he pinch ran in one and did not play in two others). Buser is now third in the WCCBL with a .356 average. He leads the league with 26 runs and co-leads with 31 hits and is second with nine steals.

Other BlueJackets among WCCBL league leaders include infielder Brandon Decker (third with 21 runs; fourth with eight steals), first baseman Bucky Aona (third with 29 hits; first with 25 RBI), outfielder and Central Kitsap product Aaron Johnson (second with 23 RBI) and Kyle Baskett (second with 15 walks). Reliever Mike Wolford is tied for third with three saves while fellow bullpen arm Jeff Brooks co-leads the league with 13 appearances.

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