An extra bloop single, one less error, a lucky bounce one way or another: The Sequim Wolves playoff standing could have been improved by any of these, but head coach Dave Ditlefsen isnt lamenting the past.
Sequim locked up a playoff berth two weeks ago and, despite a heartbreaking, one-run loss to Kingston last week, the Wolves were scheduled to play Eatonville Tuesday night for the right to advance to the West Central District double elimination round.
I did envision us as a playoff team all year, Ditlefsen said. I knew that the league was pretty strong. (These are) some tough teams to go through.
Kingston proved him right as they edged the Wolves 8-7 on April 29.
A five-run fifth inning spelled doom for Sequim as the host Buccaneers broke a tie for the Olympic League 2A divisions No. 2 seed behind Klahowya. Kingston got all five of their fifth-inning runs off Ben Grubb (2-3), who came in for starter Max Royall in the third inning. Royall struggled with his control, giving up three hits and seven walks in two-and-one-third innings.
After Kingston scored three runs in the first inning, the Wolves got five runs of their own in the third, the big hit a grand slam from Spencer Middleton. He finished with five RBIs.
Sequim pushed the lead to 7-3 with two more runs in the top of the fifth before the Bucs explosion in the bottom of the frame.
We did have a couple of plays that we couldve made, Ditlefsen said, but they were tough plays on hard hit balls that certainly werent routine.
Grubb was 1-for-3 at the plate with a double and two runs scored while Alex Gillis was 1-for-1 with a walk, hit-by-pitch, stolen base and run scored.
Chip Jones led Kingston with three hits, including a triple.
Two days later, with their playoff seeding secure, Sequim ripped Port Townsend 7-1.
Middleton threw six innings of one-hit ball and went 2-for-3 at the plate while Drew Rickerson scored twice and Jason Baker added a run-scoring double. Baker got aboard three times. Reed Omdal and Alex Gillis each had RBI singles.
In all, Sequim out-hit Port Townsend 9-3.
On the mound, Middleton was sharp, striking out 10 batters and walking just three.
Even with a win against Kingston, the Wolves would be locked into a loser-out game in the district playoffs. But with a number of extra-inning and one- or two-run losses, the rather young Wolves had a legitimate shot at the Olympic League 3A crown this spring.
Certainly not a disappointing year, Ditlefsen said. I think if anything … we made great strides, tough losses aside. The kids competed all year. The mistakes we made were not for lack of effort.
Sequim at districts
The Wolves (9-7, 9-9) were scheduled to play Eatonville, the Nisqually League No. 2 seed (9-3, 14-6), in Bremerton on May 6 in a loser-out, West Central District playoff game see sequimgazette.com/sports for results. The winner advances to play at Klahowya, the Olympic League No. 1 seed, at 7 p.m. on May 9. Of the six teams playing in the district tournament, just two advance to the state 2A playoffs in Yakima May 23-24.
Olympic League standings (as of May 5)
• 2A division
Team Lg. Over.
Klahowya 11-5 11-8
Kingston 9-7 12-8
Sequim 9-7 9-9
North Mason 6-10 6-12
Port Townsend 0-16 1-19
• 3A division
Team Lg. Over.
Olympic 14-2 16-3
Port Angeles 14-2 16-3
Peninsula 5-10 5-11
Bremerton 3-12 3-15
2A district playoff seeding: 1. Klahowya, 2. Kingston, 3. Sequim
3A district playoff seeding: 1. Olympic, 2. Port Angeles