For the first three innings against Capital, the Wilson Rams threatened to score and looked as if they would eventually break through. Then the rains came, causing a one-hour delay, and the game changed entirely once play resumed. Capital put six runs on the board in the third and fourth innings, taking a commanding lead on their way to a 10-2 win in the opener of the 3A Narrows League Tournament on May 1, ending the Rams’ season.
“We left a lot of guys on base, could not come up with that clutch hit, and they hit,” said Wilson head coach Doug Rupe. “When the time was right they hit the ball and we didn’t, and we made some mistakes that cost us. That was the game.”
The Rams threatened in the first when Jared Horner and Dylan Sandoval both walked, but Capital starter Kenzy Forler struck out Nathan Sandoval to end the inning. Brady O’Keefe – the Rams’ starting pitcher – led off the third with a walk and the Rams loaded the bases with one out on singles by Spencer Ready and Dylan Sandoval, but Forler again escaped by getting a strikeout and inducing a flyout.
The Cougars finally broke through against O’Keefe following the long delay in the third, as Sean Morris led off with an infield single and later scored on an error by Evan Stout. Capital then put up five runs in the fourth, as three of the first four batters reached on errors and Thomas Kerr, Cameron Monda and Darby Losey all added run-scoring singles.
“I think the focus was probably off a little bit, and obviously (there were) slick balls,” said Rupe of his squad after the rain delay. “But they had to play in the same conditions, and they made plays and we didn’t.”
The Rams finally got on the board in the sixth inning, as Stout led off with a walk and came around to score on a single by Ready, who finished 3-for-4. Capital put the game away with four more runs in the bottom of the inning, but the Rams showed resiliency when freshman Santana Johnson and sophomore Robbie Rhoads collected one-out walks in the seventh, and Casey Olson doubled to left to score Johnson with two outs to close out the scoring.
“Sometimes early on this season, we gave up only down two or three runs – we just shut down,” Rupe said. “But (today) the guys kept playing. I was really proud, the seniors led that last charge, getting the guys fired up and keeping them in the game.” After making a late run to get a bid to the Narrows League Tournament, the Rams will graduate five seniors but return a good amount of a relatively young squad.
“I’m proud of our team, we had five sophomores and a freshman out there,” Rupe said. “I’m really excited about the future. Our kids battled hard.”
The field conditions after just one game of the scheduled tripleheader at Heidelberg Park forced the postponement of the 4A games. The tournament openers between Central Kitsap and South Kitsap and Bellarmine and Stadium were to be played on May 2 in loser-out games.