Sports

Coupeville battles to end

It certainly wasn’t a lack of heart that led the Coupeville baseball team to a 10-9 extra inning defeat in their final game of the regular season.

Down 6-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning to Archbishop Murphy, one of the top teams in the Northwest A, could have been reason enough for any team to throw in the towel. The Wolves did exactly the opposite, turning what was an anemic offense in the first three innings, into an offensive explosion in the bottom of the fourth.

Several key hits and hustling efforts led to a seven-run scoring barrage and a 7-6 lead by the end of the fourth. Mike Bagby opened the floodgate for Coupeville with a one-out RBI single. Kasey Jensen then started some two-out magic, with a three-run RBI double.

“Offensively, he’s (Jensen) come through twice in late innings with bases loaded doubles; he’s a clutch performer who has come through time and time again this year,” head coach Willie Smith said.

Pitcher Dale Horton followed, driving in Jensen from second base on a ground-rule double over the fence in left-center field. Casey Mitchell rounded out the scoring, gathering his second hit of the inning, an RBI single that drove in Horton.

“The comeback was huge for us but that’s the way we’ve been playing this last half of the season,” Smith said.

The one run advantage quickly dissipated in the following inning after Coupeville surrendered three runs. Despite giving up the lead, the Wolves showed yet again their determination to win the game in the bottom of the fifth.

With two outs and runners on second and third senior Brad Sherman drilled his only hit of the game deep into the left-center field gap, resulting a two-RBI double and another tie score at 9-9. Unfortunately for the Wolves their offensive production ended there.

“They brought in a different pitcher, who was a off-speed pitcher and we had a tough time adjusting to him,” Smith said.

The Wildcats received their game winning run off a sacrifice fly from pitcher Kevin Smith in the top of the eighth inning. The Wolves’ last gasp came up shy with a groundout and two consecutive flyouts. The loss put their final record at 4-11 in league and 5-12 overall.

“While our win-loss columns weren’t exactly what we wanted, I felt that we were able to accomplish a lot of things that we haven’t been able to do in the past,” Smith said.

Five seniors, Dale Horton, Mark Whittaker, Brad Sherman, John Palacio and James Jorgensen all played their last game for Coupeville.

“They are a group that leads by example and were really the glue to our team this year,” Smith said. “They will all be sorely missed and it will be quite a while before we have a group that is as fun, hard working and dedicated as these kids were.”

Archbishop 0 0 1 5 3 0 0 1—10 16 1

Coupeville 0 0 0 7 2 0 0 0— 9 6 4

Mitchell, Smith (5), Burch. Horton, Bagby (4) and Whitaker. WP-Smith LP-Bagby. Coupeville 4-11 league, 5-12 overall.

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