Babe Ruth goes 1-1 against South Kitsap

The Bainbridge Babe Ruth baseball team began and ended the District 4/8 tournament by playing the team from South Kitsap.

But the matchup that gave Bainbridge a 16-2 six-inning victory on Friday turned into a 6-4 loss on Monday in a third-place game at Poulsbo’s Snider Park. In between, Bainbridge dropped a 6-1 decision to Olympic of Port Angeles.

Olympic of Port Angeles and South Kitsap played Tuesday to determine the district champion.

Despite losing two of their three games in the district tournament, Bainbridge will advance to next week’s North Washington State Babe Ruth U-15 Tournament back at Snider Park.

From rout to ruin

In their first game on Friday, Bainbridge routed South Kitsap 16-2 in six innings under a steady rain. Bainbridge pushed across five runs in the first innings and were never threatened. Bainbridge had 10 hits and benefited from 13 walks and two hit batters, courtesy of wild South Kitsap pitching. Jon Williams, Blake Jensen, and David Wesalowski each had two RBI’s, while Ranger Sciacca pitched a complete game.

It was a different story on Monday, as the two teams met again in the loser’s bracket, and their berths to the state tournament already secured.

Bainbridge tied the score at 1-1 in the fourth when Matt Koehler scored on a wild pitch, then took a 2-1 lead on Ian Walline’s RBI groundout to score Jordan Schager from third.

South retook the lead in the bottom of the fourth with three runs, then Bainbridge tied the score at 4-4 in the fifth with consecutive RBI singles from Koehler and Jordan Schager.

But South scored twice in the bottom of the fifth and held on for the win.

“South came back and played pretty strong, coming through the loser’s bracket,” said Bainbridge Coach Vern Schager. “My hat’s off to them for playing lots of games.”

“The difference came down to pitching,” Schager added.

“South struggled on Friday with their pitching and they gave us lots of walks. We pitched our number one pitcher on Friday. We could’ve pitched him again, but I wanted to give our other pitchers a workout.”

The rain also played a part in Bainbridge’s run through the tournament. They played Friday in the rain, but after they played Olympic on Sunday afternoon, rain pushed their game with South Kitsap from Sunday night to Monday.

“It was kind of difficult, to get yourself up,” Schager said. “You can never really tell. You have to live by the decisions about which guys you have to put in the lineup.”

In between playing South, Bainbridge played Olympic of Port Angeles on Sunday afternoon before the rains hit. Bainbridge committed four errors in the loss to Olympic, while allowing eight hits.

Sciacca scored the only run in the game for Bainbridge, leading off the seventh inning with a double, and coming around on Nolan Meininger’s RBI single.

The North Washington State Babe Ruth U-15 Tournament starts on July 10, with Bainbridge’s first game on July 11 at 8 a.m. in Snider Park. Teams from Spokane, central Washington, and King County will be participate.

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