Sports

Diamond delights: 2009 All-Kitsap County Baseball Team revealed

(Top) CK junior Drew Vettleson fires a pitch during the Cougars’ 4-3 nine-inning loss against Gig Harbor Monday. (Left) Catcher Cole Adams shows the umpire the ball after attempting a tag against a GH base runner. (Right) Allen Hewey slides into home. -
(Top) CK junior Drew Vettleson fires a pitch during the Cougars’ 4-3 nine-inning loss against Gig Harbor Monday. (Left) Catcher Cole Adams shows the umpire the ball after attempting a tag against a GH base runner. (Right) Allen Hewey slides into home.
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2009 All-Kitsap County Baseball Team

KITSAP NEWS GROUP

Another spring, another baseball season decorated with outstanding performances at both the individual and team levels.

The greater Silverdale area proved once again it is a baseball hotbed, collectively grabbing two state-tournament berths as well as a district title.

Klahowya captured the Class 2A West Central District III championship behind the potent one-two pitching punch of seniors Eric Eley and Kurtis Pitcher, both of whom posted sub-2.50 ERAs while logging a combined 95 1/3 innings. While the Eagles were eliminated in the first round of the 2A state tournament with an 11-2 loss to W.F. West, it surely was a season to remember for the team that calls The Swamp its home field.

Central Kitsap made a return trip to the 4A state tournament thanks to two key victories in loser-out situations at districts against Curtis and Gig Harbor, respectively. Led by 2009 Gatorade Player of the Year Drew Vettleson, a junior who is verbally committed to Oregon State University, the Cougars pounded their way through the Narrows League and districts before falling at state to Lake Washington, 14-6. The team graduates a handful of key seniors, including Casey Bohlmann, Nate Roberts, Howard McDonald, Cole Adams, Kyle Kunkel and Allen Hewey.

Olympic, meanwhile, entered the 2009 season with high expectations; the Trojans returned eight starters from a 2008 team that reached the state tournament. But a 4-1 setback to Prairie at districts made for a premature ending to the team's season. However, most of coach Nate Andrews' key players are set to return in 2010, led by pitcher Riley Crow and position players Chris Campbell, Blake Johnson, Jordan Halstead, Keith Davis, Zach Bird, Patrick Middleton and Joe Stevick. Expectations, undoubtedly, will be high.

The 2009 All-Kitsap County Baseball Team was compiled by the sports writers for the North Kitsap Herald, Port Orchard Independent, Bremerton Patriot and Central Kitsap Reporter. Candidates for the team were nominated by the writers for their respective areas. The nominees were then voted on by the writers, with the top vote-getters making the teams. Honorable mentions also were selected from each school. The team includes the best players from area schools who not only performed well individually, but played a role in the success of their team as well.

The following is the 2009 All-Kitsap County Baseball Team:

P — Casey Bohlmann, senior, Central Kitsap: The left-hander offered Cougars coach Bill Baxter a reliable arm to spell Vettleson. Bohlmann pitched 34 innings during the regular season, going 4-1 with a 3.09 ERA and 43 strikeouts to just eight walks. Bohlmann finished the regular season with a .358 batting average in the No. 6 spot.

P — Eric Eley, senior, Klahowya: The right-handed power pitcher logged a 1.97 ERA in a team-high 53 1/3 innings, striking out 58 batters to finish the season with a 6-3 record. Also one of the Eagles' most consistent hitters, Eley hit .396 with nine RBI and .604 slugging percentage.

P — Colin Feldtman, senior, Bainbridge: The Spartans rode Feldtman's arm to the Class 3A state championship game. Coach Jayson Gore said Feldtman pitched five consecutive complete-games to end the season, emerging as the team's undisputed ace. His 1.21 ERA was a team-best. He also hit .421 with 16 RBI.

P — Kurtis Pitcher, senior, Klahowya: Aptly named, the left-handed Pitcher delivered each time the Eagles needed a big performance. He threw a one-hitter with 15 strikeouts against Port Angeles in late April and delivered a gritty performance in the Eagles' season-ending loss to W.F. West in the state tournament. Pitcher, who will play next year at Western Oregon University, finished with a 2.33 ERA, striking out a team-best 63 batters to just 20 walks.

P — Tyler Sullivan, senior, Kingston: Sullivan, who will play at the University of Washington next year, terrorized opposing teams from both the mound and the batter's box this season. As a pitcher, Sullivan threw 53 strikeouts in 33 innings, and gave up an average of 1.7 runs per game. On the offensive side, Sullivan hit .460, including two home runs, in 15 regular season games.

C — Curtis Wildung, sophomore, Kingston: Wildung led the Buccaneers with 22 RBI this season, putting up one of the best batting averages in the Olympic League at .511 in 15 regular season games.

1B — Danny Orr, junior, Kingston: Orr racked up 25 hits in 15 regular season games on his way to a .490 batting average. Along the way, he drove in 13 runs and knocked a pair of homers over the fence.

2B — Nate Roberts, senior, Central Kitsap: Slated to play second base next season at Seattle University, Roberts anchored the CK infield, seeing significant action at shortstop. The right-handed Roberts batted No. 3 in the Cougars' lineup, hitting .383 with four home runs and 20 RBI.

SS — Brady Steiger, senior, South Kitsap: Rated as the 13th-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 10 walks during the regular season and also had a .435 batting average and had team-best's in home runs (five) and RBI (19). He committed to play at Washington State University in March 2008, where he likely will return to third base, the position he played in 2008 for the Wolves. He had perhaps his best game in a 10-2 win May 17 against Jefferson. Steiger went 3 for 4 with a walk, double, home run and three RBI in a win that advanced South to state for a second consecutive season.

3B — Will Martin, senior, Bainbridge: Martin finished the regular season with a .500 batting average in 50 plate appearances, hitting three home runs to go with a team-high 21 RBI.

OF — Drew Vettleson, junior, Central Kitsap: Recently named the 2009 Gatorade Player of the Year, the ambidextrous Vettleson, who has verbally committed to Oregon State University, hit .382 with four home runs and 18 RBI during the regular season from the left side of the plate. On the mound, where he utilized his right arm, he logged a 1.70 ERA with 40 strikeouts in 25 innings, going 2-0 during the regular season.

OF — Blake Johnson, junior, Olympic: Johnson posted .455 batting average and scored a team-best 29 runs to go with 12 RBI. Primarily a center fielder, he stole 16 bases while putting up a .709 slugging percentage.

OF — Andy Smith, senior, North Kitsap: Smith, who will play outfield for the University of Washington next year, put up huge numbers on offense and defense this season. As a batter, Smith led the Vikings, hitting .483 with 23 RBI and two homers. On the mound, Smith was undefeated in the regular season and hurled 53 strikeouts in 46 innings, allowing an average of 1.51 runs per game.

UTIL — Rickey Johnson, junior, South Kitsap: At a school that counts Kansas City Royals utility player Willie Bloomquist as an alumnus, Johnson filled the role as the Wolves' most versatile athlete this year. He regularly played first and third base when he wasn't serving as one of South Kitsap's top pitchers. Johnson had a .463 batting average during the regular season and also had a team-best .635 on-base percentage. He also hit two home runs, tied for a team-best with 10 RBI and led the Wolves with nine stolen bases. On the mound, the right-handed Johnson had a 3-1 record with a 2.44 ERA and had 19 strikeouts in the same amount of innings.

“I’m a sucker for guys like that,” South coach Jim Fairweather said. “It’s nice when you get to coach kids with some talent and a nice drive to go with it.”

UTIL — Chris Campbell, sophomore, Olympic: Capable of playing almost any position on the field, Campbell led the Trojans with .475 batting average and 22 RBI. He was second on the team in both runs and total bases with 19 and 35, respectively.

DH — Rueben Smith, senior, Kingston: Smith was an asset for the Bucs all season despite a shoulder injury that kept him from playing the field. In 16 regular season games, Smith averaged .364 at the plate, drove in 13 RBI and blasted three home runs.

Coach of the Year — Jayson Gore, Bainbridge: The 10th-year coach led the Spartans to the Class 3A state championship game at Safeco Field where they lost to O'Dea, 10-3. Along the way, however, Bainbridge upset then-No. 1-ranked Timberline in the semifinals, one of five games the team played against a state-ranked No. 1 team. The Spartans, who graduate 13 seniors, didn't lose a regular-season Metro League contest by more than three runs all season. The team finished 19-8 overall one of the state's most competitive baseball leagues.

Honorable Mentions

Cole Adams, Central Kitsap; Jeremy Aske, North Kitsap; Tyler Baumgartner, Central Kitsap; Paul Bagala, Kingston; Zach Bird, Olympic; Nick Bennish, North Kitsap; Tanner Bogardus, Bainbridge; Mitch Cartwright, South Kitsap; Riley Crow, Olympic; Brendan Gawlowski, Bainbridge; Jordan Halstead, Olympic; Allen Hewey, Central Kitsap; Stephen Jeffcoat, Klahowya; Daniel Jewett, North Kitsap; Kyle Kunkel, Central Kitsap; Howard McDonald, Central Kitsap; Scott McGallian, South Kitsap; Mario McLaughlin, Bainbridge; Colin Monagle, South Kitsap; Colby Morse, Bainbridge; Kyle Murray, Kingston; Brandon Neet, Klahowya; Darrell Newman, Klahowya; Alex Smith, North Kitsap; and Josh Winkler, Central Kitsap.

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