Baseball: Rally falls short as Wolves fall 5-4

Although the Coupeville baseball team lost 5-4 at Friday Harbor Friday, April 15, the young Wolves are making progress according to coach Willie Smith.

After a string of lopsided losses, Coupeville used a strong defense and clutch hitting to take the Wolverines to the wire.

Smith said his club "played a great game" and proved "they can play great baseball and compete with very good baseball teams."

Freshman Ben Etzell, coming off an injury, made his pitching debut and gave up five runs in three-and-two-thirds innings.

Smith said Etzell "did a very nice job of keeping them off balance."

Wade Schaef relieved Etzell and blanked Friday Harbor over the final three innings.

Smith lauded his defense and cited the play of center fielder Alex McClain who made "several running catches" and catcher Jake Tumblin who nailed a would-be stealer and thwarted a rally by nipping the lead runner at second on a fifth-inning bunt.

RBI singles by Kurtis Smith and Schaef tied the game at 2 in the second inning, then Friday Harbor jumped to a 5-2 lead heading into the seventh.

The Wolverines brought in their closer for the final inning, and he threw "as hard or harder than anyone we had faced all season," Smith said.

Brandt Bodamer started the inning with a two-strike single and then, after two outs, Morgan Payne singled.

Tumblin followed with a triple, scoring both runners, including Payne who kicked the ball out of the catcher's glove to keep the inning going.

After a walk to Ian Smith, Friday Harbor ran down a gapper for the final out.

Schaef led the Wolves by going 2-for-3 with an RBI.

Saturday's game at Lakewood was rained out again and rescheduled for Saturday, April 30, at 3 p.m.

Coupeville (1-11, 0-7) heads to rival South Whidbey (1-13, 1-11) today, April 25, at 4 p.m.

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