Gateway: Sports

Dempewolf strong as Gig Harbor knocks off Peninsula in first of doubleheader

Gig Harbor pitcher Austin Dempewolf pitching early in the first game of the Gig Harbor vs. Peninsula baseball doubleheader at Sehmel Homestead Park Tuesday.
Gig Harbor pitcher Austin Dempewolf pitching early in the first game of the Gig Harbor vs. Peninsula baseball doubleheader at Sehmel Homestead Park Tuesday. dmontesino@thenewstribune.com

After a torrential downpour Monday forced the cancellation of Gig Harbor and Peninsula’s crosstown rivalry baseball game, everyone involved was just eager to get the first game of the rescheduled doubleheader going on Tuesday afternoon.

One small problem: The umpires were a no-show.

But after a call to a couple umpires in the Gig Harbor area, the game finally got going around 1:40 p.m., 40 minutes after the scheduled start time. For Gig Harbor, it was the Tides’ first game since April 3.

“It’s been almost two weeks of not playing,” said Gig Harbor senior pitcher Austin Dempewolf. “It’s definitely nice to get out here and have some sunshine.”

If Dempewolf was rusty, he didn’t show it during the first game of the doubleheader. The hard-throwing right hander and University of Portland signee got into a rhythm early, striking out five in the first two innings. In five innings, he gave up one earned run, one hit, four walks and fanned eight.

“My fastball command was there,” Dempewolf said. “My slider was there when I needed it.”

Dempewolf led the Tides to a 5-2 win over Peninsula in game one. The offense was sparked — on two occasions — by third baseman Jordan Haworth, who drove in four runs with hits in the fourth and sixth innings. Those came after Haworth struck out in his first two at bats against Peninsula starter Joe Pierce, who came out throwing some heat for the Seahawks.

“I kind of struggled in my first two at bats,” Haworth said. “In my next two at bats after that, I had a plan to lay off the high stuff and go the other way. I was able to square it up.”

For Haworth, it was a case of not trying to do too much.

“When guys are pulling their heads, you’re not doing your job,” Haworth said. “If just stay short and do your job, you get runs. Just playing small ball.”

Peninsula made it interesting in the sixth inning, when pinch-hitter Cooper Sims hit a two-run triple to deep left-center field. Haworth’s two-run single in the bottom of the inning gave relief pitcher Owen Wild a cushion.

“That was big,” Haworth said. “We had the momentum the whole game and then we just lost it. We were up by one. We needed to swing that back.”

Gig Harbor won the second game of the doubleheader, 7-2. Gig Harbor is now 4-4 in Class 3A South Sound Conference play, while Peninsula drops to 4-6.

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