Sports

Time is now for BlueJackets

Kitsap starting pitcher Chad Wagner fires the ball to the plate against the Bend Elks Tuesday. - Jesse Beals/staff photo
Kitsap starting pitcher Chad Wagner fires the ball to the plate against the Bend Elks Tuesday.
— image credit: Jesse Beals/staff photo

With two games left, Kitsap needs to rally.

This isn’t how the Kitsap BlueJackets want to see the 2008 season come to a close.

Tied with Bend (Ore.) for second place in the West Coast Collegiate Baseball League’s West Division, not to mention tied for the final playoff berth in the West, the BlueJackets were in favorable position to put distance between themselves and the Elks, with Bend traveling to Kitsap this week for a three-game series.

But after Bend picked up the first two games 3-2 Tuesday and 8-4 Wednesday, the Jackets (18-20) now trail the Elks (20-18) by two games with two left to play.

Kitsap and Bend played again Thursday night before the Jackets opened up a regular season-ending three-game homestand with Spokane (18-20) last night. The results of those contests were unavailable at press time. For its final series, Bend hosts East Division leaders Wenatchee (21-17).

In the series opener with Bend, Kitsap jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Bucky Aona grounded into a bases-loaded no-out double play that scored right fielder Kyle Baskett, whose single kicked off the opening rally.

Bend didn’t answer until the sixth and seventh, when they put up three runs across the two frames, kicked off by a solo homer from the bat of Bend’s David Bentrott.

Kitsap started to rally back in the bottom of the seventh. After Max Kwan singled and reached second on a wild pitch, both Aaron Johnson and Cody Bartlett struck out. But Keegan McCamment, pinch hitting for Jordan Shadle, drove in Kwan on an RBI single to left. Baskett then singled up the middle, the drive ended when Shane Colbert, pinch running for McCamment, was nailed at third for the final out.

Kitsap would record just one single the rest of the way.

The loss spoiled another strong effort out of Sequim native Chad Wagner, who lasted six innings while allowing just one run on six hits, walking three but striking out five. Reliever David Macey (0-1) was charged with the loss.

While Wednesday’s loss was more lopsided, Kitsap again opened the game with a strong lead.

Trailing by a run in the bottom of the third, Kitsap put up four runs thanks to RBI singles from Doug Buser and Cody Bartlett, a sacrifice RBI from Lawson Hipps and another run when Brandon Decker scored on an error.

The lead didn’t last, however, as the Elks responded with five runs of their own in the top of the fourth. Kitsap put men on base, out-hitting Bend 10-9, but couldn’t get clutch hits in the loss.

Kitsap enters game two against Spokane at Lobe Fields at the Fairgrounds at 7 tonight. Tomorrow’s season finale is at 1 p.m.

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