Mac McCarty wasn’t flawless on Friday evening against Decatur at Joe Martin Field, but he didn’t need to be. While the South Kitsap senior rarely went through a clean inning, he was never fazed, always finding a way to get out of jams in the Class 4A state tournament semifinals. South Kitsap won the game, 5-0. Wolves coach Marcus Logue was never concerned.
“That’s Mac McCarty,” Logue said. “He’s going to give up some walks once in a while. He wasn’t getting some pitches called, but we adjusted to that. I think our guys did a phenomenal job of adjusting and doing what we needed to do to grind through all seven (innings).”
As always, Logue was impressed with his senior’s composure.
“He’s a kid who loves the game,” Logue said. “He appreciates his teammates and the coaching staff and his family. Everybody, they’re all in. That’s what he’s all about it. We’re extremely happy with where we’re at.”
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McCarty said he wasn’t perfect but found a way to grind through, crediting the stellar defense behind him and timely hitting at the plate.
“I was throwing hard,” McCarty said. “The slider was good but a little wild. (Catcher) Alex (Garcia) did a great job back there calling pitches. It was such a great team win. The defense was so good. Offensively, scratching five runs across off (Decatur pitcher Garrett Westberg) was really clutch.”
The Wolves struck early in the third inning, with RBI singles from Nathan Archuleta and Austin Hackman. McCarty, wanting to give himself a little bit of insurance, drove in the final two runs for South Kitsap on a bloop single into center field in the sixth inning.
“A little bloop-dog,” McCarty said, laughing. “I was like, all right, thanks for the fastball.”
Junior Lucas Knowles is likely to start in the state title game on Saturday at 4 p.m. South Kitsap will face Newport (Bellevue).
GIG HARBOR’S BAT ASLEEP AGAINST NEWPORT
Going into the seventh inning, Newport High School senior pitcher Ryan Kingma was on the verge of a no-hitter. Gig Harbor junior catcher Jon Burghardt broke it up with a no-doubt home run to right field, but it wasn’t enough as the Tides fell to the Knights, 4-1.
Kingma said he didn’t really think about the no-hitter until he came out to the mound for the final inning. He tried to test Burghardt with a first-pitch fastball, which proved to be a mistake.
“I decided to see how far he could hit it, and that was a bad decision on my part,” Kingma said, laughing.
Burghardt took Kingma to the warning track earlier in the game. The second time, there was no question about where the ball was headed.
“I knew since he had a lead, he was going to throw a fastball,” Burghardt said. “So I was just looking fastball first pitch. I hit it out of the park, so it felt pretty good.”
Gig Harbor senior pitcher Matthew Henckel gave up only one hit over six innings, but three errors and five walks proved costly for the Tides. Gig Harbor junior Alex Morford pitched the seventh and gave up the final two runs.
“(Henckel) had a first inning where he threw a lot of pitches,” Gig Harbor coach Pete Jansen said. “But he battled back. He pitched great. We talked with the kids out there; you get all these teams that are really good, you’ve got to play defense.”
The Tides were confused by Kingma all night. Burghardt said he believed it was just an off game.
“He was locating his fastball well and his off-speed was good,” Burghardt said. “We just struggled. The big game got to us a little bit; we were a little timid to swing.”