Sports

Merchants drop first four games

The Whidbey Merchants, the men’s over 18 baseball team, started the season with doubleheader losses the past two Sundays.

The Merchants took it on the chin from the Skagit Humpies, 19-3 and 11-1, to start the season and were blanked by Team Darling from Anacortes 14-0 and 10-0 last Sunday. So far the Merchants’ season has been characterized by giving up too many walks, facing great pitching and hitting, and the lack of its own offense.

Against the Humpies, one of the top teams from last season, the Merchants found themselves behind 15-0 after just two innings in game one. The Humpies have many of the league’s top hitters and they showed it in the first game by pounding out 13 hits. The Merchants’ offense was provided by Milt Campbell’s RBI single and Drew Richardson’s two RBI double. Game two was more of the same as the Humpies again had 13 hits and drew five walks. Whidbey’s lone run came from an RBI single by Casey Richardson in the first inning, one of just five hits in the game.

The Merchants traveled to Anacortes to play Team Darling last Sunday and were kept off balance by the Darling pitchers in both games. Whidbey was limited to no more than three or four batters each inning and had just three hits in game one and two hits in game two. Meanwhile, the Darling side racked up 14 hits and were given 11 walks in game one. Game two saw them stroke nine hits and receive five walks, and were helped by four errors.

The Whidbey Merchants and the Quad County Baseball League went to over 18 years old this year. That gives the Merchants a mix of veterans: Walt Bankowski, Bill Russell, Chris Davis, Milt Campbell, Keith Ross, Brian Johnson, and Pete Aguirre; and new players: Drew Richardson, Casey Richardson, Rich Cline, Jacob Hall, Tim Shelley, Ian Tretter, Ned Betts, John Sitko, and Mike Gouge.

The Merchants are again sponsored by Alaska USA Home Mortgage. Their next game will be against the Bellingham Shockers at 10:30 a.m., Sunday, June 19 at the Oak Harbor High School field.

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