Sports

Spartans shut out CK 2-0 in varsity baseball home opener

BHS baseball player Ben Kussie at bat early in the Spartan home opener game against Central Kitsap Thursday, March 20. - Luciano Marano | Bainbridge Island Review
BHS baseball player Ben Kussie at bat early in the Spartan home opener game against Central Kitsap Thursday, March 20.
— image credit: Luciano Marano | Bainbridge Island Review

The Bainbridge High varsity baseball team sent the visitors from Central Kitsap home with nothing to show for their island excursion except a 2-0 shutout loss at the BHS season home opener Thursday, March 20.

Home-team slugger Duncan McCombs went 2-for-3 at the plate for Bainbridge, with two hits and an RBI.

Fellow Spartan Dylan Vchulek had one hit and one RBI.

Having already been forced to cancel two games due to weather-related field conditions, Spartan Head Coach David Smart said he was proud of the team’s performance and that he and the team were excited to get the season underway.

“It was a good game all the way through,” Smart said. “We made the most of a couple opportunities and we were able to get a couple of runs, and then we played good defense. Good pitching and good defense will win games for you.”

Nearly every player on the Spartan varsity team saw field time in the first game of the season.

“We were going to try and move people around and get our pitchers some work,” Smart said. “We don’t have a huge squad, so when we start putting pitchers in we have to move guys around to different spots. Part of the plan was to get guys in and we were able to do that.”

“There’s no weakness when we start moving guys around,” Smart added. “Which is really nice because we’re able to take an outfielder in, put him in the game as a pitcher, and move somebody else to the outfield and regardless of where we go we’re strong there. It was a nice luxury to have.”

Smart said that the versatility of the players would become a greater asset as the season progressed.

“It’s not as important now as it will be later,” he said. “The fact that everybody’s getting in, everybody’s getting work, I think that’s the biggest advantage right now.”

Despite their impressive early season showing, Smart stoically said that the Spartans were not quite where they would need to be yet to go all the way this year.

“We’ve got things we got to work on,” he said. “A lot of it’s mental. Some of the pitching stuff, which I’ll talk to them about. Like getting ahead with the first pitch strike, which we did a really good job of that the last three innings. Then we had a couple of two out walks, which we can never have. We’re going to continue to do what we’ve been doing [in practice], and I don’t think it’s going to change too much.”

Refusing to celebrate the season’s inaugural victory, Smart said that his trademark serious temperament was cause for much teasing in the dugout.

“All the kids always accuse me of not having any fun and I tell them winning’s fun,” he said. “We start having fun when we start winning, but I think that just seeing the guys come back and seeing Duncan [McCombs] come out and throw well in the sixth and seeing Trent [Schulte] come out and close well in the seventh, it just makes me smile.

“Those guys are doing a good job, picking up fairly close to where we left off last year, although they’re older and hopefully a little wiser. All of our pitchers came in and threw well, and I think that’s the thing that I’m happiest about,” he said.

 

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