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Shutouts and homers pace all-star play
"Bainbridge 9-10 baseball coach Rick Watson said his team was well-positioned going into the deciding games of the district tournament over the weekend because he had his top pitchers rested and ready.But not even Watson could have predicted just how good his pitchers would be. All his three top pitchers did was toss back-to-back shutouts against South Kitsap Eastern as Bainbridge ran away from the field to take the district title and move into this weekend's state tournament.We were hitting on all cylinders all tournament, Watson said. We had pitching all the way, big hits and excellent defense. Our pitchers gave up only three runs and eight hits in the five games, and we never trailed.The crucial win was Saturday's 4-0 winners-bracket victory.Willy Greene started and gave up only one hit in three scoreless innings while striking out three. Peter Leslie came on in the fourth and was even better, holding SKE hitless for the final three innings while fanning six.Bainbridge needed the great pitching and defense, because runs were hard to come by.The islanders broke through in the third on Leslie's two-out triple and Michael Heald's RBI hit. They picked up two more in the fourth, when Green and Nick Fling scored from third and second after a passed ball and a bad throw from the catcher to the pitcher covering home.SKE won a Sunday loser-out game to stay alive, then met Bainbridge again Monday. This time, Bainbridge added offense to the pitching and defense, and took a 9-0 win.Nick Fling pitched a complete game, surrendering only two infield hits while striking out seven.Bainbridge put the game away with a six-run third inning. With one out, Tanner Bogardus lofted a floater over first that landed just in fair territory, then bounced away, driving Fling home from second. Campbell and Dylan Tucker-Gangnes followed with RBI singles, Leslie walked, Heald hit a run-scoring single and Taurien Yamada's single brought home two more runs. Bainbridge scored three more in the fifth when Yamada hit a two-run double, then scored on Fling's single.Bainbridge opens state-tournament play Saturday morning at 10 a.m. at Beaver Lake Park in Sammamish.11-12s prevail despite bandagesBainbridge's banged-up 11-12-year-old baseballers bought themselves a little more time to heal up by posting a 9-6 win over North Kitsap American Saturday.Bainbridge advances to the third round of the Little League district tournament at Art Mikelsen field in Port Orchard. They met Sequim last night.We're about 75 to 80 per cent healthy right now, assistant coach Greg Mesmer said. If we can get past this tournament and go to state, we should be in great shape.Saturday's star, both medically and athletically, was Nick Browning, who broke his leg earlier this spring. Browning came in to pitch in the third, after NKA had scored four runs to take a 5-4 lead. He got the final out of the inning, then held the opponents to one run the rest of the way.He's made a really remarkable recovery, Mesmer said. He broke his leg just above the ankle in April, but came back in late May and was able to play enough regular-season games to qualify for the post-season roster.The top hitters for Bainbridge were Zach Peach, who had a homer and a double, and Chris North, who hit a homer. Allie Picha was 2-3 with a double.Bainbridge took a 4-1 lead into the third, but NKA posted four runs against starting pitcher C.J. Hall, himself still recovering from a broken thumb.After Browning put out that fire, Bainbridge jumped back ahead with a three-run fourth, then closed the scoring with a pair of insurance runs in the sixth.Mesmer said the team isn't hitting on all cylinders yet, something he attributes primarily to the health situation. But he's also hoping the players can regain the mental toughness they showed in taking the state championship two years ago in the 9-10 age group.They know how to turn it up a notch, Mesmer said. And now's the time to do it.He said the success of the 9-10 team, which won its district tournament, would be a motivator for the older team. They've given us something to live up to, Mesmer said. 9-10 softballers fall to SequimBainbridge's 9-10-year-old softball all-stars bowed out of district tournament play Thursday night, falling to Sequim by a 7-2 score.We didn't hit when it would have been nice, Bainbridge coach Kirk Robinson said.Bainbridge scored two quick runs in the top of the first inning, then sent hard-throwing pitcher Chelsea Whealdon to the mound. But Sequim countered with three runs, including a booming shot to the fence good for a home run.The ball was thrown hard, and when the Sequim girl hit it, it went a long ways, Robinson said. Our kids got a little deflated after that.Sequim scored three more in the bottom of the third to put the game away.Bainbridge had an opportunity in the top of the fifth, putting two runners aboard with nobody out. But the Sequim pitcher then struck out the side to end the threat.The team played .500 ball in the five-team affair at Poulsbo, beating North Mason twice, but losing twice to Sequim, once in extra innings."