Wolves go to 9-0 in 4A Narrows

todd.milles@thenewstribune.comApril 24, 2014 

There is an R-word in baseball nobody likes to hear.

Rainout.

And this month has been especially drippy over baseball diamonds throughout the South Sound.

Yet, that wasn’t going to thwart defending Class 4A state runner-up South Kitsap and Bellarmine Prep in a 4A Narrows League game Wednesday in Tacoma.

In the end, South Kitsap — not the rain — won out in a 5-0 victory behind ace Mac McCarty’s complete-game five-hitter that kept the Wolves’ league record unblemished (9-0).

“Their field tarp saved us. They do so much work here. It was huge to get this game in,” South Kitsap coach Marcus Logue said. “Like I told them, all this was is a business trip. We kind of had that mentality, so coming over here, we needed to execute — get in, get out and move on to the next day.”

Fifteen minutes before the first pitch, the skies darkened, and rain began to fall.

But the Bellarmine Prep staff, including longtime coach Rick Barnhart, brought out eight bags of Turface to spread all over the infield, the pitching mound and batter’s box to soak up forming puddles.

The Lions have had their issues with rainouts, too, losing a pair of nonleague games to bad weather and having their league game against Stadium suspended.

“Weird scheduling,” Barnhart said. “When the weather was good, there wasn’t anything (scheduled). And when it wasn’t, we did.”

Considering all of that, McCarty and Lions starter Patrick Kaerstner pitched admirably Wednesday.

What fueled the Wolves was their big bats in the middle of the lineup. They scored one run in the first inning on Tyler Pinkerton’s RBI double to grab the lead.

In the third inning, Tyler Ludlow unleashed a solo home run over the left-field fence for a 2-0 South Kitsap lead.

The Lions’ best threat came in their half of the third inning. With one out, Harry Stenberg hit a single to deep shortstop. After an errant throw, Stenberg tried getting to second base.

But Logan Knowles was there to take the throw back. Stenberg slid into the tag, but also into Knowles’ wrist. The shortstop had to leave the game because of an injury.

With two outs, Jairus Richards laced a double deep to left field that would have easily scored Stenberg. Richards was then left stranded on base.

“If one of (them) comes in, it changes the energy of the game,” Barnhart said. “It just didn’t happen.”

After that, McCarty — a side-winding right-hander who was on the junior varsity last season — gave up just one more hit the rest of the way. He struck out eight and walked three in his 99-pitch effort as he improved to 6-0 this season.

“It was rough in the beginning, sliding around a little bit,” McCarty said of his footing. “My defense made some great plays behind me.”

Todd Milles: 253-597-8442 todd.milles@thenewstribune.com @ManyHatsMilles

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