The Class 4A state baseball trophy is sitting on the floor at the back of the press box at Joe Martin Stadium awaiting presentation to the next state champion on Saturday, May 30.
For the past two years, that’s as close as South Kitsap has gotten to taking the big brass glove home to Port Orchard. Twice the Wolves advanced to the 4A title game and twice they were turned away, one win shy of the championship — by Skyview in 2013 and Puyallup last spring.
What’s that they say about the third time?
The Wolves, who last claimed a state title in 2003, certainly are hoping all that waiting pays off, as they advanced to their third straight 4A final with a 5-0 semifinal win over Decatur on Friday, May 29.
“It’s a different group of kids,” South Kitsap coach Marcus Logue said. “They work extremely hard. They’re all about each other. Our mantra has been ‘It’s all about us.’ They try to do that, and today they persevered throughout the game, even when the game was tight.”
Staff ace Mac McCarty was dominating when he needed to be, using 119 pitches to throw the four hit shutout, but it seemed like he was always pitching with runners on base. He did walk five, but struck out nine.
He also used his defense to strand 11 Gator baserunners, as Decatur was just 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position.
“Mac was just dominant on the mound,” Logue said. “Even when he got into trouble, he was so mature and level-headed, he was able to trust his defense to make plays.”
The Wolves staked him a 2-0 lead in the third inning when Nathan Archuleta scampered home on an errant throw after getting caught in a rundown between third and home on a double steal and Alex Garcia’s single drove in Austin Hackman.
Pinch hitter Bryce Wolfe’s RBI single started a three-run rally in the top of the sixth, which McCarty capped off with a two-run single back up the middle.
“That’s what this group is about,” Logue said. “It’s some new guy every game. It’s somebody that’s going going to get it done. Wolfey getting that hit to score the extra run. I told another coach if we get four, that’s enough cushion for Mac.”
Garrett Westberg went 52/3 innings on the mound for Decatur, allowing four runs on seven hits and four walks while striking out five.
South Kitsap 5, Decatur 0
WP: Mac McCarty. LP: Garrett Westberg. Highlights: South Kitsap: Drew Dickey 2-2; Alex Garcia 2-4, RBI, 2B;. Bryce Wolfe 1-2, R, RBI, SB; Nathan Archuleta 1-3, R, SB. Decatur: Justyln Ekness 1-4 SB; Taylor Havilcek 1-3; Nathaniel Sagdahl 1-1; Garrett Westberg 1-2.