Sports

Bainbridge All-Stars on their way

Their first step was rocky. Their second one was covered in mud.

But the Bainbridge Island Little League All-Stars braved the conditions to win their first two games at the 11-12 district tournament at Snider Park .

Bainbridge defeated Gig Harbor American 9-4 on Friday, then shut out South Kitsap Western 6-0 on Sunday in miserable conditions.

“We’ve had two tough ones in a row,” said Bainbridge coach Don French after Sunday’s win over SK Western. “But we’re playing good and getting better.”

In the Minor League (9-10 year olds) district tournament, also at Snider Park, the Bainbridge Island Gold team advanced, getting a 12-1 win over South Kitsap Western.

Rematch

In the 11-12 tournament, the Bainbridge All-Stars faced the team they defeated last year for the district title, after coming through the loser’s bracket.

They opened with three runs in the first inning. Michael Heald got on base with a walk, advanced to second on a passed ball, and then scored on Kauika Peleti’s single to right field. Peleti scored when Kyle Petheram reached on a two-base error. After a walk and a single to load the bases, Nick Fling reached on a fielder’s choice, allowing Petheram to score.

After Gig Harbor American scored in their half of the first, Bainbridge made it 5-1 on Tyler Campbell’s two-out, two-run triple. Campbell was tagged out at home plate trying for a home run.

GH American closed the gap to 5-4 in the third inning but got no closer as Campbell scored from third on a passed ball, and Fling hit an RBI single to drive in Mike Walsh to make it 7-4 in the fifth.

In the sixth, Campbell hit an RBI double to score Peleti; one batter later on a fielder’s choice, Campbell got caught up in a rundown long enough to allow Corey Scancella to score from third for the final run of the game.

“You always want to make sure you get the first game,” French said on Friday. “We didn’t look invincible. The first game is always hard.”

Their next game against South Kitsap Western was harder because of the rain that soaked the playing fields. But they managed to get the game in, with Nick Fling pitching a complete game for Bainbridge, holding SK Western to four hits.

“He pitched a helluva a game,” French said of Fling, who threw 84 pitches in the game. He walked just one batter and struck out eight.

The rain made the gravelly pitcher’s mound slick, but Fling adjusted. “It was a problem early on,” Fling said, “so I filled it in.”

Bainbridge scored three runs in the top of the first. With one out, Campbell walked, then scored on Peleti’s RBI triple. Peleti came home on a fielder’s choice by Heald. One batter later, Petheram hit an RBI sacrifice fly to score Heald from third base. Mike Walsh finished off the scoring in the sixth inning with a two run home run to right field.

The 11-12 tournament continues with Bainbridge facing North Kitsap American at 6 p.m. Friday back at Snider Park.

Gold stars

The Bainbridge Island Gold bunted their way to a first round 12-1 win in five innings over South Kitsap Western in the 9-10 district tournament.

Bainbridge did most of their damage in the second inning, getting seven of their 13 hits, including four bunts for base hits, leading to six runs.

“We work on our bunting all the time,” said Bainbridge coach John Martin. “Unless they can prove they can stop it, we’ll keep doing it. It’s a nice way to score runs.”

Second baseman Kyle Schneider went three-for-three as did shortstop Jack Seidl, who batted an RBI triple. Catcher Kevin McCormick went 1 for 3 with 2 RBIs. Bainbridge also took advantage of four SK Western errors.

Bainbridge pitcher Michael Kilbane allowed two hits and one walk, and struck out seven batters.

BI Gold will play Gig Harbor National or South Kitsap Eastern at 3:30 p.m. Friday.

The island’s other entrant in the tournament, Bainbridge Island Blue, was eliminated from the tournament after losing to Gig Harbor National 10-4 on Friday and falling 10-9 to Key Peninsula on Monday.

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