The Gig Harbor High baseball team has one heck of a 1-2 punch at the top of its pitching rotation, and thanks to those power arms, the Tides are one a win away from the Class 4A state playoffs.
A day after Matt Henckel shutout Curtis High on Tuesday, left-handed starter Michael Toglia decided it was his turn to continue that momentum against another 4A South Puget Sound League team – Rogers High.
Back issues bothered Toglia coming into Wednesday’s game, but after some rest, those issues didn’t seem to bother the junior starter.
“It felt pretty good because I had a solid two weeks (of) rest before this (start),” Toglia said. “So I was feeling good and I was feeling great … my back feels good.”
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Toglia only needed 86 pitches to get through a complete game as the Tide won, 7-1. Gig Harbor (16-6) advances to play Tahoma at 10 a.m. Saturday at Heritage Recreational Center in Puyallup.
According to Gig Harbor coach Pete Jansen, the complete game by Toglia is his fourth in a row dating back to last season.
Going forward, pitching won’t be the Tides issue, as the combination of Henckel and Toglia have proven to be tough to beat.
The question is whether Gig Harbor can scratch out enough runs against high-caliber opposing staffs.
“I told the guys, ‘Let’s really figure out where the umpire’s strike zone is, and then we’re going to lay off pitches the umpire is going to call balls,” Jansen said.
That strategy worked to perfection Wednesday as Gig Harbor only needed five hits to score the seven runs, making the most of walks, errors and wild pitches to get on base and score.
“The kids had great at bats; they had great approaches at the plate,” the coach said. “We had a lot of base runners. We’ve played about six games in a row now that we’ve really been gelling.”
A win over Tahoma in the early game Saturday will guarantee Gig Harbor a seed in the state tournament.