Jordan Jones faced six batters, striking out the last five, and Shane McGuire doubled in a run as the Kentwood High School baseball team rebounded from its second loss to Puyallup in two weeks to beat 4A Narrows champion Gig Harbor, 3-1, on Saturday at Kent Memorial Park.
Kentwood (21-4) next plays the No. 2 seed from the District 5/8 tournament at noon Saturday at Heritage Park in Puyallup.
Gig Harbor (16-7) also heads to Heritage Park next. It will play Mount Si at 9 a.m. Saturday.
"It wasn’t the end of the world if we would have lost, but you always want to compete," Kentwood coach Mark Zender said. "If you win it’s confidence for the kids."
Jones, a University of Washington signee, started the game in what amounted to a bullpen session, allowing no hits in two innings before Dyson Johnson continued to shut the Tides down from there.
Zender said he recommended Jones throw a few innings Saturday despite starting in a win over Timberline. He has not lost a start either of the past two years for the Conquerors, though he was not the pitcher of record.
"I needed to get some work in," Jones said. "I wanted to get after it with live hitters. I thought that was going to be best to help me and help the team out."
Kentwood scored runs in each of the first two innings, including McGuire’s RBI double. Ben Wadowski, a Saint Martin’s signee, plated the Conks’ third run on a two-out bases-loaded single in the fourth.
Kentwood was coming off its second loss to Puyallup in as many weeks. Gig Harbor lost to Federal Way, 3-2, earlier in the day when Ben Koler scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the eighth inning.
"Full respect for Puyallup, but we aren’t intimidated by them," Zender said. "I hope we play them again because that would mean we are in Pasco (for the state semifinals)."
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