South Kitsap edged Kentwood 1-0, while Skyview blasted Kentridge, 10-0, to reach the state championship game.
PASCO — Kentwood coach Mark Zender couldn’t find fault with the way his team played. He didn’t think they played poorly or that they cost themselves the game.
Instead, he simply thought his team, which won the 4A state championship a year ago, lost in a 1-0 coin-flip game against South Kitsap in Friday’s Class 4A state semifinals at Gesa Stadium.
“I told the guys that it really wasn’t a matter of us not playing well,” Zender said. “It was just a ballgame either team could have won. A classic 1-0 game.
“They have a reason to hold their heads high.”
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After South Kitsap took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning on a sac fly from Cody Wolfe, Kentwood had a couple of chances to tie or take the lead.
The best opportunity came in the sixth inning. The Conquerors had two runners on with catcher Reese McGuire, a future first-round draft pick, at the plate. McGuire drew a walk that loaded the bases with two outs and brought up cleanup hitter Tanner Wessling.
But South Kitsap pitcher Michael Wood struck out Wessling and ended the threat. Wood pitched a complete game and had a four-inning stretch where he didn’t allow a hit.
“He’s done that the whole year,” South Kitsap coach Marcus Logue said.
Kentwood had one more chance in the seventh inning. Connor Sims singled and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Spencer Greene stepped to the plate with two outs and the tying run on second, but he struck out to end the game.
The Conquerors remained in the game because of pitcher Jordan Jones, a 6-foot-1 freshman who consistently worked out of jams. Jones pitched a complete game and scattered six hits while striking out seven.
“He’s poised and beyond his years in terms of his mental approach and his ability to deal with adversity and the situation,” Zender said. “We were playing this weekend to win the state championship, and we didn’t have any reason to believe Jordan wasn’t the guy to get us to that game.”
Kentwood will play Kentridge at 1 p.m. Saturday, while South Kitsap will play Skyview at 7 p.m. for the Class 4A state title.
Skyview 10, Kentridge 0
Skyview pitcher Ian Hamilton didn’t give Kentridge any wiggle room in Friday’s other 4A state semifinal. He didn’t give them much of anything, actually.
Hamilton struck out 10 as Skyview blasted past Kentridge in five innings.
Kentridge managed just two hits as Hamilton completely corralled the Chargers’ attack.
Skyview did its real damage in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Storm entered the inning leading 3-0 but scored seven runs in that frame.
The game ended after five innings because of the mercy rule.
Zach Beatty and Travis McGuire were the only Kentridge players to collect hits.