LACEY – The South Kitsap Wolves were too much for the Gig Harbor Tides to handle during Friday afternoon’s Narrows League 4A tournament title game at the Regional Athletic Complex. The Wolves, who were the home team and top seed, had a big third inning, with senior catcher Tyler Pinkerton knocking in a grand slam to take a 4-0 lead. South Kitsap went on to win 4-1.
With one out and runners on second and third, the Tides walked the Wolves’ best hitter, loading the bases for Pinkerton and hoping for a double play. This time, it didn’t work.
“I thought that was our percentage play to try to get the double play, because the kid that was up didn’t have great speed. And if he hits a ground ball, we’ve got a pretty good defense, and we’ve turned a lot of double plays,” Gig Harbor head coach Pete Jansen said.
The Tides’ lone run came in the sixth, when sophomore center fielder Michael Toglia knocked a triple into the right-center gap.
“I was looking first pitch fastball, because he was pounding the zone the entire time,” Toglia said. “He had a pretty good curveball and a pretty good changeup, so the best pitch to hit, for me, was his fastball. When I got into a hitter’s count, 2-1, he left one right down the middle and I turned on it.”
Jon Burghardt knocked Toglia in with an RBI double. The Tides went on to face the Puyallup Vikings, the SPSL 4A No. 1 seed, on Tuesday. Jansen said he’s been impressed with his team’s competitive mindset.
“We can compete with anybody,” Jansen said. “We competed with these guys tonight. If we play our game, and play good pitching and good defense, get some runs, we can beat anybody.”
Toglia said the team will have a short memory regarding the loss.
“We’re feeling pretty good,” Toglia said. “We just have to flush this game and look forward into the next one. The biggest thing for us is to stay positive and not break each other down with a bunch of negative energy. As long as we do that, we’ll be good.”
For up-to-date results on how Gig Harbor fared on Tuesday against Puyallup, check gateline.com/sports.