Sequim’s Conor Bear pitches against 3A foe Central Kitsap on March 29. Bear figures to help anchor a rotation that returns just a few innings from the Wolves’ 2019 squad. Sequim gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

Sequim’s Conor Bear pitches against 3A foe Central Kitsap on March 29. Bear figures to help anchor a rotation that returns just a few innings from the Wolves’ 2019 squad. Sequim gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

Spring sports preview: Sequim baseball sees youth movement

A big influx of younger players has veteran manager Dave Ditlefsen coaching up a new crop of Wolves.

“It’s kind of a wacky year; we’ve got a lot of younger kids coming in for varsity spots,” he said.

With a number of varsity starters missing from his 2019 crew, Ditlefsen — who has amassed 170 wins in 14 full seasons with the Wolves — will lean heavily on returners Conor Bear, Hayden Eaton, Michael Grubb and Zach McCracken.

“They show how it’s supposed to be done on this level,” Ditlefsen said.

Grubb, the Wolves’ cleanup hitter in 2019 batted .279 with 16 runs and 11 RBI as a sophomore.

McCracken, who anchors the Wolves behind the plate when not pitching, hit .313 as a freshman in limited time in 2019, while Bear was a .286 hitter in six games.

Sequim sophomore Ricky Jennings reaches base in an early-season match-up with Bainbridge. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

Ditlefsen said he likes what he sees early on, particularly after a rout of East Jefferson last week that saw the Wolves complete the game without an error.

“Defensively I think we’re going to be very strong (and) I love our work ethic,” he said.

Eaton and Grubb saw some limited time on the mound for the Wolves two springs ago. Ditlefsen said he expects Bear, McCracken, Grubb, Jaxson Gray, Ricky Jennings, Isaiah Moore and Wanbli Robideau to accumulate innings this season, among others.

Sequim went 7-5 in league play in 2019 and 2-2 at districts, falling one win short of a state berth in a third close loss to the North Kitsap Vikings.

SHS walks past East JeffCo

Sequim plated seven runners to go up big on its way to a 14-1 win over East Jefferson in a cool, damp six-inning baseball game March 24 at Chimacum High School.

The seven-run third didn’t see Sequim record a hit as the Wolves turned a 2-1 lead into a 9-1 advantage thanks to six walks, four wild pitches, two hit batters and two errors. Michael Grubb led Sequim at the plate, going two for three with two RBIs. Connor Bear scored four runs and drove in another; Bodi Sanderson walked three times and scored twice, and Aiden Holland recorded two RBIs.

East Jefferson (0-2) loaded the bases on three walks in the bottom of the first, and Ryan Popp scored on a Sequim balk.

Visiting 3A foe Central Kitsap roughed up the Wolves 35-0 on March 29; the teams get a rematch in Silverdale on March 31.

Sequim gave up 31 runs in one frame to CK, a team now 3-0 that has outscored its opponents 57-1.

Sequim coach Dave Ditlefsen said the Wolves were holding their own and were only down 4-0 entering the fifth inning and had managed to keep the Cougars scoreless in three innings out of four, but in the fifth, everything fell apart.

“We couldn’t get any outs. It was the worst inning I’ve ever been a part of,” Ditlefsen said. “It just got out of hand.” He said it was a combination of errors, walks and hits.

Grubb and Hayden Eaton did have hits for the Wolves, with Eaton’s hit a triple.

Sequim gets a away-and-home set with 3A Bainbridge after the CK rematch, visiting the Spartans on April 5 and hosting the Spartans on April 6.

Spring sports preview: Baseball

Head coach: Dave Ditlefsen (16th season)

2019 record: 7-5 in Olympic League (third), 14-9 overall; 2-2 at districts

Top returners: Michael Grubb (sr.), Connor Bear (jr.), Hayden Eaton (sr.), Zach McCracken (jr.)

Key newcomers: Kaiden Brown (sr.), Matthew Gluck (so.), Jaxson Gray (jr.), Aiden Holland (fr.), Ricky Jennings (so.), Alexander Kessler (fr.), Braiden Kitchen (so.), Lucas Lawrence (so.), Calvin Magelssen (so.), Isaac Moore (fr.), Usaiah Moore (so.), Weston Opdyke (fr.), Ryan Porter (sr.), Wanbli Robideau (so.), Bodi Sanderson (sr.), Hunter Tobin (so.)

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