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Baseball: Sequim finishes strong on diamond
Following a string of losses, the Wolves baseball team ended its season with big wins.
Sequim looked strong on the road against North Mason, winning 7-2 on April 29, after rallying from an early two-run deficit. The next day they jumped out early and held out to wallop Klahowya with a 9-2 road win. For the season, the Wolves went 5-11 in the Olympic League and 7-11 overall.
“We finished strong,” head coach Dave Ditlefsen said. “We had a heart-to-heart about halfway through the season and our goal was to improve going through the league a second time.”
Ditlefsen and the players felt they turned a corner when visiting North Kitsap in mid-April.
“That’s when they felt they were really competing on another level,” he said.
For the league, Sequim found itself beating teams like North Kitsap and North Mason, who blanked them in high-run games earlier in the season.
“They improved and to give credit to them, when the playoffs started to get out of reach, they didn’t give up,” Ditlefsen said. “They didn’t lose focus.”
The Wolves really went for it in their final two games to finish with a team batting average of .258.
Ditlefsen said the team’s average went up at least 20 points in the last few games.
Senior Brett Wright, who led the team in hitting with a .415 average, a .475 on-base percentage and eight stolen bases, had three hits in the last two games and batted in a run.
Several other seniors went out on top, too: Brandon Jones hit in three RBIs and led the team with 13 RBIs on the season; Jon Donahue doubled to bring in two runners and led the team with eight extra-base hits; and Fred Serrano and Austin Clement recorded RBIs against Klahowya.
Nick Johnston, the junior pitcher/first baseman, was awarded the team’s most valuable player award, hitting .364 and throwing 38.67 innings for a 2-3 record and 2.17 earned run average and 41 strikeouts.
“His ERA is not reflective of how dominant he was on the hill,” Ditlefsen said.
Johnston had 29 runs overall while pitching but only 12 earned. Ditlefsen said some stronger defensive plays could have prevented some of the runs.
Next year, Johnston will be backed with several returning pitchers, including Tanner Rhodefer (20.33 IP) and Zack Rigg (15.67 IP).
While the Wolves missed the playoffs this year, Ditlefsen is eager for the upcoming underclassmen.
“Younger crews coming in are hungry to play baseball,” he said. “There’s a strong group on JV who are ready to jump up to varsity.” The JV team finished 10-6.
“I expect them to be an improved team this year for the next three or four years.”