If there’s two things Gig Harbor baseball coach Pete Jansen has been able to count on this year fairly regularly, it’s been pitching and defense.
In 19 of Gig Harbor’s 24 total games during the regular season and postseason, Gig Harbor has held its opponents to two or fewer runs.
That was once again the case for Gig Harbor and senior pitcher Patrick Fredrickson in the West Central/Southwest bi-district tournament semifinal game against Mountain View on Saturday at Foss High School. Fredrickson threw a complete seven-inning game for the Tides, giving up four hits, striking out seven and limiting Mountain View to one run as Gig Harbor won, 4-1, to advance to the district championship game later that day.
“I was feeling good,” Fredrickson said. “I had all my stuff working today, kept the ball low and outside. They pieced a couple together but other than that, it was pretty good. My catcher did a good job working me through innings, one at a time. Overall, it was just a really good win.”
Gig Harbor had already punched its ticket to the Class 3A state tournament with a pair of wins the previous week, so Saturday’s games at Foss were strictly for state seeding.
Gig Harbor scored three runs in the first inning. Cameron MacIntosh started the scoring with an RBI double, and Chad Stevens and Jordan Haworth each drove in runs with sacrifice flies. Gig Harbor added its fourth and final run in the fourth inning on a fielder’s choice.
Pitching, defense and some timely hitting once again proved to be a successful recipe for the Tides.
“We’ve done that all year,” Jansen said. “We have good pitching, above average defense — sometimes great defense — and our hitting has been pretty good. We’re making a lot of contact.”
For Fredrickson, innings have helped him become a better pitcher this year. Last year, he experienced some frustration, stuck behind a loaded rotation led by current UCLA freshman Michael Toglia. This year, he’s had plenty of chances to work on his craft.
“This year, it’s allowed me to get my stuff going earlier in the year,” Fredrickson said. “Last year, didn’t get it going till summer ball. The innings I’m getting this year have helped me out a lot. Every time I pitch, I feel like I’m getting progressively better.”
GIG HARBOR 1, TIMBERLINE 0
Logan Gerling pitched a complete game for the Tides, allowing just four hits while striking out seven Blazers. The win gave Gig Harbor the bi-district title and the top seed going into the 3A state tournament this weekend.
Austin Stroup was dealing for the Blazers until RJ Green got ahold of him. Green drove in what would prove to be the game-winning run in the third inning.
Gig Harbor will open the 3A state playoffs at 1 p.m. Saturday (May 20) at Curtis High School. The Tides will face Bainbridge Island and will have plenty of momentum heading into the tournament.
“It gives us a really good feeling going into the big tournament,” Fredrickson said. “It’s a big deal to win districts.”
For Jansen, momentum in baseball can’t be overstated.
“Momentum is a huge part of any sport,” Jansen said. “I’m always talking to our guys that baseball is a game of momentum going back and forth between two teams. … So we have the momentum now. We don’t want to give it up.”