LACEY — Gig Harbor High School baseball coach Pete Jansen took a gamble.
South Kitsap’s Tyler Pinkerton, the Wolves’ cleanup hitter, had been hitless against the Tides in the teams’ two previous meetings in 4A Narrows League play, including a strikeout looking in his first at-bat in the first inning of Friday afternoon’s tournament title game in Lacey.
So the decision was to intentionally walk Tyler Ludlow to get to Pinkerton.
“We were hoping to get a double-play ball ... and he crushed it,” Jansen said.
Pinkerton crushed the first pitch he saw from Tides starter Drew Gallinger for a one-out grand slam to left field.
That one swing was all the offense the Wolves needed for a 4-1 win over Gig Harbor at the Regional Athletic Complex to grab the league’s No. 1 seed in Tuesday’s West Central/Southwest bidistrict tournament.
The Wolves (17-4) open bidistrict play at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Bellarmine against Tahoma, while Gig Harbor (14-7) gets the winner of Saturday’s Puyallup/Kentridge game at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Art Wright Field. Both games are winner-to-state.
“We’re right where we want to be,” Jansen said. “We have an opportunity to get state, and we’re in a great spot. It doesn’t matter if it’s Kentridge or Puyallup; if we play our game, we can compete with them.”
South Kitsap starter Logan Knowles went the distance, allowing one run on six hits. John Burghardt’s RBI double in the fifth pulled the Tides within 4-1. That ended three consecutive games without a run allowed by the Wolves’ pitching staff, but they still enter the bidistrict tournament as winners of seven straight.
“We just kind of went game by game,” said South Kitsap coach Marcus Logue, whose team went 12-0 in 4A Narrows League play. “We knew we had a lot of talent. We wanted to do what we needed to do every game.”
Timberline 8, North Thurston 1: In the midst of a 37-minute, second-inning rain delay, Timberline starting pitcher Brandon Olson kept loose in more ways than one. A long-sleeved shirt kept his arm warm, and his Blazers teammates kept the dugout’s spirits happy-go-lucky, too.
“They make it pretty easy,” he said.
Olson didn’t need much run support after the Blazers put up a two-spot in the first inning of the 3A Narrows League tournament title game. That’s because he took a perfect game into the fifth inning and a no-hitter into the sixth in Timberline’s win over North Thurston.
The seeds to the bidistrict tournament have significance for both teams: Timberline gets a first-round bye and plays in a winner-to-state game at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Tacoma’s Heidelberg Park, while North Thurston (15-5) has a tougher road to state. The Rams face the winner of Saturday’s Enumclaw/Hazen game at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Heidelberg in a loser-out contest.
Olson retired 13 consecutive batters as Timberline (19-2) built an 8-0 lead through three innings. After Olson surrendered two walks in the fifth, Ben Rood’s infield grounder ended the no-hit bid in the sixth. After North Thurston won both of the regular-season meetings against Timberline — both by 2-1 margins — including last Saturday’s regular-season finale, the Blazers put up 10 hits. Timberline totaled five hits in the two earlier losses to the Rams.firstname.lastname@example.org