Midway through their junior varsity game, a pair of Capital High School baseball players got their first varsity call-ups.
Both contributed to Capital’s 1-0 victory over visiting Central Kitsap at Waits Field on Wednesday afternoon.
“We were kind of in the middle of our game, and the JV game wasn’t going so well, so they just called us over to the varsity game,” said Kayle Fry, a sophomore. “We got in the dugout and the coach just kind of said, ‘Hey, throw a helmet on.’ ”
Both Fry and Alex Halstead entered the scoreless game in the bottom of the seventh inning. Halstead immediately tossed on a helmet to pinch run for Aidan Short, who led off the inning with an infield single — Short finished 2 for 3.
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Central Kitsap retired two before Fry, pinch hitting for Carson Bertelli, knocked a single into shallow left field. Halstead held up at third.
“And then, what do you know, a walk-off,” Halstead said.
Peyton Greene hit a chopper to second, which bounced off of Fred Buckson’s glove. Halstead crossed on the error for the game’s only run.
“We stuck in and we won,” he said. “It was awesome.”
That after Capital dropped the first game in the two-game series, 15-5, to Central Kitsap on Monday in Silverdale.
“Our guys knew that was a fluke,” Capital coach Jesse Elam said. “This is what we prepare for, playing these types of games.
“We’re really big in the mental game of baseball — just playing one pitch at a time. This is the first time I’ve seen it, where we have done that for a whole game. … It’s good for the kids to figure that out. This is going to be big for us, I think, coming up.”
Capital (9-5, 9-1 3A Narrows League) handed Central Kitsap its first loss of the season. The two teams are tied atop the 3A Narrows with four league contests apiece to play.
“It was just staying focused as a team,” Greene said. “Not letting anyone get down on themselves for getting out or making a stupid mistake. It was combining together to get a rally going and end it.”
Greene got the win in relief. He pitched the final two frames, allowing two hits on 24 pitches, to improve to 2-0 on the season. Griffin McCormick pitched the complete-game loss for Central Kitsap (14-1, 9-1). He allowed one run (unearned) on six hits, while striking out seven.
“It’s a little bit nerve-wracking, obviously, but once you get on the mound and you just focus up and get your mental right, you can do anything,” Greene said. “That’s what I felt like today, and I showed them what I could do.”
Cody Jenkins, Capital’s ace, tossed the majority of the game. He pitched a one-hitter, while striking out four. He walked eight, but was able to work out of jams in multiple innings. Central Kitsap stranded nine runners.
“I can really attribute that to my defense behind me,” Jenkins said. “I really trust my guys. I started forcing things and then I realized I had a great group of guys behind me, so I relaxed more and started throwing more strikes. They had my back and helped me get out of it.”
Capital plays Olympia in the baseball Spaghetti Bowl at 4 p.m. Friday at Olympia’s Crandall Field.
“The chemistry between this team is unlike any other I’ve had on any team from any sport, it’s great,” Jenkins said. “I love everybody, everybody loves each other, and I think that’s a big part of our success.”