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Two Bainbridge Island Little League All-Star teams drop title games
Baseball, softball squads just miss heading to state tourneys.
GIG HARBOR – The Bainbridge Gold 10-11 year-old baseball All-Stars did their best to make it to state.
But a sixth-inning rally fell agonizingly short, as Bainbridge lost to South Kitsap Western 10-9 in the District 2 title game at the Gig Harbor Little League fields in Gig Harbor.
In a back and forth contest, both teams came up with big hits when they needed them.
South Kitsap took a 4-0 lead through the first two innings off of Bainbridge starter Garret Riely.
Bainbridge was held to just two hits through three and a half innings by South Kitsap starter Logan Knowles. But it broke through in the fourth with three straight singles by Riely, Riley Hawken and Cody Hawken.
Blake Swanson then hit one to the fence in right field for a double to score Riely and Riley Hawken. Cody Hawken scored when the ball got away from the catcher.
Logan Knowles came back to get a strikeout and a groundout to him, but Swanson came home to tie the game.
Trent Schulte then followed with a bloop double to score Josh Parker for the lead.
It was short-lived however, as Tyler Ludlow tied the game in the fifth with a towering blast to left field for a solo home run.
Riely came back to retire the next two batters via groundout, but was pulled because he hit the max amount for his pitch count.
Duncan McCombs came in to pitch, but an error and two walks loaded the bases for South Kitsap. Swanson came on in relief, but another walk, an error and a base hit drove in three runs.
Bainbridge got a run back when Carter Kraus doubled to score Swanson, but South Kitsap added two runs in the sixth inning off a double by Mac McCarty.
They were big runs, as Riley Hawken crushed the first pitch he saw for a three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth.
But that was all they could get, as Hudson Kimple came on in relief to slam the door and send South Kitsap to state.
To get to that point, Bainbridge Gold had to come through the consolation bracket and get some big wins.
Against their counterparts in Bainbridge Blue last Thursday, Gold broke open a scoreless game in the fourth inning with a RBI single by Riley Hawken. He later scored on an error. Grant Klausen (who reached on that error) later stole home to add another run.
Riely hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning while Riley Hawken followed with a solo shot.
Hawken came on in relief in the sixth for Trent Schulte, who held Bainbridge Blue to just four hits.
Against Gig Harbor American Friday, Hawken had a three-run home run in Bainbridge Gold’s 10-3 win.
Against North Kitsap American on Saturday, Bainbridge scored early and often en route to a 17-0 win.
Riely came through in a big spot with a walkoff home run against South Kitsap Western Sunday for the 3-2 win.
The Bainbridge 9-10 year-old softball All-Stars also lost their title game 14-6 to East Jefferson/South Jefferson/Port Townsend Monday at Snider Field in Poulsbo.
Bainbridge batters worked the bases loaded in the first inning, with Maddy Mikami scoring a run off of East Jefferson’s ace. In the second inning, aggressive base running by Bainbridge rattled the East Jefferson pitcher and lead to five runs. This also forced the home team to bring their starter back in the circle. Mikami, Natalie Ackerley, Alyssa Estes, Natalya Niehaus and Kate Matthews all scored runs.
Mikami made several nice plays at shortstop and Amanda Comeau made a critical catch of a fly ball to left field. Starting pitcher Alyssa Estes held the East Jefferson offensive juggernaut to seven runs through the first three innings. Natalie Allen closed strongly, allowing only three runs.
In the end, East Jefferson regained their composure in the fourth inning and won 14-6.
To get there, the All-Stars defeated Sequim 7-6 on Saturday, then beat Gig Harbor 9-7 on Sunday.
Sequim scored first, taking a three-run lead. Bainbridge matched the score in the second inning with Mikami, Mikelle Ackerley and Lindsay scoring.
The Islanders took advantage of walks and a fielder’s choice to get on base and scratch out three more runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Mikami and Ackerley scored again, as did Hannah Masters. Emma Lindsay walked and scored.
With the game tied in the last inning and down to its last out, Bainbridge took a shot with Mikelle Ackerley successfully beating the tag at the plate to score the go ahead run – her third of the day.
From there, Bainbridge turned the game over to Estes who struck out the last three batters on 11 pitches to seal the victory. Estes ended the day with 13 strikeouts.
Against Gig Harbor, Mikelle Ackerley went the distance, throwing to her twin sister Natalie who had another solid performance behind the plate.
Offensively, Natalie Allen scored two runs and had the hit of the tournament with a triple that sailed 10 feet over the left fielder’s head on its way to the wall. Caroline Devlin waked, stole second and scored when Natalie Tang reached on an error.
But Gig Harbor scored three runs each in the fourth and fifth innings to put Bainbridge in a 6-5 hole.
Bainbridge rallied when Niehaus singled to lead off the fifth inning, and Natalie Allen singled after her. Melody Giasson (the sole nine-year-old on the team) walked and then Kate Matthews singled. The next batter, Hannah Masters, laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to score Giasson from third base.
Matthews scored to give the Islanders a three-run lead going in to the last inning. Ackerley made it stick by striking out the side to end the game, giving her a total of nine strikeouts.
The Bainbridge Blue 9-10 year-old All-Stars played four excellent innings of baseball, with tight defense and good pitching against South Kitsap East Sunday and trailed one to nothing at that point.
But the South Kitsap bats came alive and touched up three Bainbridge pitchers for 15 runs in the top half of the fifth inning for the victory.
Bainbridge fought hard for 3 runs in the bottom of the fifth, but it wasn’t enough to recover from the large deficit, eliminating them from the tournament.
The Bainbridge Majors softball All-Stars were eliminated at the state tournament in Walla Walla.
They lost 4-3 to Sedro Wooley, but rebounded to defeat Battle Ground 8-0.
On Monday, Bainbridge was sent home by Sammamish with a 9-2 loss.
–Joy Swanson, Stew Estes and Laurie Isenman contributed to this article
Tracksters off to nationals
Three members of the Bainbridge Island Track Club qualified for the 42nd annual USATF National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships last weekend.
At the Region 13 Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships at Spokane Community College, Isabel Ferguson qualified in the 800 meter run in the Young Women division.
She also made it in the high jump with a second-place finish of four feet, 11 inches.
Pearl Terry made it with a second place finish in the 800 run in the Intermediate Girls division with a time of 2:27.78.
She placed seventh in the high jump with a mark of four feet, nine inches.
Ian Shiach, a 2008 graduate of Bainbridge High School, took third in the steeplechase with a time of 7:28.90.
He also ran on the 4x800 relay team that took first with a time of 8:36.14 and took third in the 5000 meter run with a time of 17.56.66.
The national championship track meet takes place July 22-27 at Burke High School in Omaha, Neb.