South Kitsap baseball doesn’t rest on spring break

Spring break traditionally represents a time for West Sound high school baseball teams to take a break from regular season competition.

That’s true for most teams this spring, with the exception of South Kitsap.

“We never did that,” Wolves head coach Marcus Logue said.

After Wolves’ 13-3 loss to Puyallup on Friday at Elton Goodwin Field in Port Orchard, the team turned their attention to next week. South Kitsap are set to play three times, starting with a home game against Graham-Kapowsin on Monday at 4 p.m.

Whether it’s a player who’s new to the program or a player who’s been in the program for a while, Logue said the expectations for spring break are the same and the plans are clear with each pre-season: don’t expect to be on vacation.

That doesn’t mean South Kitsap players are missing out on the benefit of not having to take lessons every day.

“There’s no school, so you can get some sleep,” junior first baseman Kaden Ecklund said. “Then you can come here early before games and hit, get ready.”

Hitting is one of the areas Wolves want to see improve heading into the second half of the season. South Kitsap (3-4, 2-3 in South Puget Sound League 4A) started the season with an 18-5 win over Central Kitsap. The team scored 12 combined points in its next six games.

“We have to start knocking,” Logue said. “They know that.”

South Kitsap's Cole Darcey catches a ball while being backed up by Bradyn Melton during their match against Puyallup at Port Orchard on Friday 1st April 2022.

Winning a pair of games 1-0 against Bethel heading into Friday’s game, South Kitsap took a 1-0 up against Puyallup (7-0, 5-0) on a three-hitter first inning. Wolves added three more hits the rest of the game.

The Vikings showed why they were among the best 4A teams in the state in the top of the third inning, scoring eight runs, including a three-run homer from Garrett Ringer off South Kitsap starting pitcher Noah Deese.

“That kind of takes your air off you,” Logue said.

At one point, Puyallup saw nine straight batters reach base. Wolves made two pitching changes in the innings, with Logue mindful of the pitching count and slate of games to come.

“We’ve been focused on having enough pitches to take care of next week,” he said.

Puyallup added five more runs in the top of the sixth inning. South Kitsap scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth on a two-run homer from Ecklund, their first of the season.

With 13 regular season games remaining, Wolves aren’t too worried about finding their groove at home plate, especially as the weather begins to warm up. The best part of Friday’s loss is that South Kitsap doesn’t have to wait too long to get back to business.

“We have to fall into a groove, which I know we will,” Logue said.

West Sound’s Top 5 Teams

South Kitsap's Konnor Sutton dives into third base during their game against Puyallup in Port Orchard on Friday April 1, 2022.

1. Bainbridge (8-0, 5-0 in Olympic League 2A): With senior pitcher JR Ritchie (UCLA’s commitment threw a no-hitter against Lincoln) in the lead, the Spartans scored 10 or more runs five times while holding opponents to two runs or under six times. A winning formula.

2. North Kitsap (7-1, 4-1 in Olympic League 2A): The Vikings will get two shots at Bainbridge in the space of seven days after spring break: April 13 at Poulsbo and April 19 at Bainbridge Island. Senior receiver Colton Bower (.368 average, 10 RBI, 9 walks, 7 touchdowns per pitch) is getting on base at a very high pace.

3. Olympic (6-3, 5-1 in Olympic League 2A): The Trojans are riding a wave of momentum, having won five of their last six games. Olympic has a match during Spring Break, a road contest in Shelton on April 5.

4: Klahowya (6-2, 4-2 in Nisqually League 1A): Junior receiver Matt Bailey is hitting .550 with 13 runs and 13 RBIs for the Eagles, who started the season with six straight wins before dropping two in a row.

(Tied) 5. Crosspoint (4-0, 2-0 in Sea-Tac League 1B): The Warriors have scored 86 points in their four wins, but haven’t played since March 22. They’ll be busy after spring break with another 15 regular-season games on the schedule.

(Tie)5. South Kitsap (3-4, 2-3 in South Puget Sound League 4A): Wolves ended a three-game losing streak last week with back-to-back 1-0 wins over Bethel and Bellarmine Prep.