To any spectators this weekend who hadn't seen Bremerton sweep North Kitsap during the regular season, it might have appeared things had been the other way around. North Kitsap swept the Knights on Friday and Saturday to secure a number one seed in the district tournament.
With the number one seed the Vikings will have a bye going into the first round of districts, while the Knights will have to play as a two seed on Tuesday.
Bremerton's performance against North Kitsap on Saturday might best be described as “A Comedy of Errors.” The Knights got behind early and put themselves into a position from which they had almost no chance of coming back.
North Kitsap scored early and continued to pile runs on throughout the game. The Vikings were hitting well but their bats appeared to be on fire due to myriad mistakes from the Knights.
It looked like it was going to be a hard-fought close game early on. North Kitsap scored one in the top of the first and Bremerton responded with a strong display of intensity when Matt Noll successfully stole home.
But it would take more than stolen bases for Bremerton to win – it would take something they didn't have on Friday, error-free defense. That defense failed to materialize.
All three of North Kitsap's runs in the second inning came as a result of fielding mistakes.
Bremerton pitcher Casey Winderl fielded a weak infield hit. He scared the runner at third to stay put but when he turned to make the routine throw to first he lobbed it lazily 10 feet over first baseman Beau West's head.
The runner he'd kept at third took off and scored easily while the runner at first advanced to second. The very next batter put the ball right past the pitcher but the second baseman couldn't get his body in front of the ball and it skated past him into center field.
That scored two more runners.
These were perhaps the most striking examples of a game, and a series, plagued by errors and mistakes from the Bremerton side.
Bremerton coach Steve Schorzman attempted to put a silver lining on the loss, saying it allowed his every player on his team to get practice before the actual playoffs begin.
Schorzman attributed many of the mistakes to his side trying to do too much.
North Kitsap had its own share of errors but they were confined to less key situations and for the most part they were able to escape from them unscathed.
In the end, some on the Bremerton side expressed the opinion that the Vikings' coaches might be running up the score. Their team scored 6 in the top of the final inning.
If the Vikings' play this weekend is any indication, they are coming on strong at the most important of times. Bremerton fans will have to hope the team's fielding mistakes are just the result of playoff jitters and that they can calm down before the elimination games begin.
North Kitsap – 16 17 2
Bremerton – 3 5 1