Gateway: Sports

Gig Harbor baseball rallies to beat Graham-Kapowsin

A first-inning deficit might bother some high school baseball teams, but Gig Harbor doesn’t appear to be one of them.

The Tides turned a one-run deficit after five innings into a 6-2 nonleague victory March 18 at Graham-Kapowsin for their third consecutive win to start the season — all coming after trailing by the end of the first inning.

“We’d like to change that,” Gig Harbor coach Peter Jansen deadpanned.

This game started as a pitchers’ duel.

Eagles senior left-hander C.J. Blowers, the son of former Seattle Mariners third baseman and Bethel High graduate Mike Blowers, cruised through the first four innings with six strikeouts. Gig Harbor scored Cameron MacIntosh in the third on Jon Burghardt’s sacrifice fly, but MacIntosh had reached on an error, so it was an unearned run.

“He’s been there,” G-K coach Brian Jackson said of Blowers. “We just got to put things together. Untimely errors and mental mistakes have been tough.”

Blowers was out of the game when Gig Harbor struck for four runs in the sixth.

Gig Harbor’s standout junior switch hitter Michael Toglia had struck out each of his first two at-bats trying to solve Blowers’ tough curveball-fastball combination. But Toglia tied the game at 2 when he scored from first base on Hunter Werner’s double that dropped over the head of G-K’s diving left fielder in the top of the sixth.

Chad Stevens followed two batters later with a two-run double to center field. He later scored on a passed ball as Gig Harbor pushed its lead to 5-2.

Toglia then added some insurance with an RBI double in the seventh.

“At first we were playing kind of tense,” Toglia said. “Once we finally started to relax I thought we started playing like we can.”

Keone McKee and Alex Rivera each had a pair of hits and Nate Alfonso had an RBI double for Graham-Kapowsin. Gig Harbor sophomore Patrick Frederickson, making his first varsity appearance, earned the win. He allowed one run in three innings of relief.

The Eagles have twice in two games seen close games fall apart. They allowed eight runs in the third inning in an 8-0 loss to South Kitsap on Friday.

“I think we are going to be a very good team,” Jackson said. “Nobody out here was expecting these first two games to go the way they have. We had the best two weeks of practice prior to this. Just something has been missing right now and it’s our job to find it.”