At this point, no school really sneaks up on its opponents in the high school baseball playoffs, but South Kitsap High School hasn’t been trumpeting its recent success, nor has it been cheering loudly.
But the Wolves have been, to say the least, playing very soundly.
They went in and upended Narrows 4A regular-season champion Olympia in the championship game of the league tournament Friday. And four days later, they guaranteed themselves a spot in the Class 4A regional round by beating Emerald Ridge, 5-1.
Josh Johnston pitched five strong innings for South Kitsap (15-4), which has now won its past seven games. Reliever Michael Wood earned the save with two perfect innings to close out the Jaguars, the South Puget Sound League’s third seed.
Emerald Ridge now is in a must-win, loser-out game today against Beamer/Rogers winner at Kent Memorial Park – and might have to play it without standout Kyle Rossman, the starting pitcher in the game Tuesday who left after one inning because of a back injury.
With Rossman out, the Jaguars turned to ninth grader Chris Micheles, who got two quick outs before giving up three consecutive singles to Tiler Moore, Alek Morrison and Kevin Whatley.
Whatley’s single to right field was the big blow. It knocked it two runs, and the Wolves took a 3-0 lead.
Johnston wiggled out of his only real jam in the fourth inning. He allowed an RBI double to Landon Packard with two outs. Chad Martinson followed with a single, but the Wolves got out of it when Packard rounded third base too far, and was tagged out.
Tyler Ludlow’s sacrifice fly scored Cody Wolfe in the fourth inning to give South Kitsap a 5-1 lead.