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In this photo, you ignore the big picture and focus on what’s right in front of you. Coupeville baseball has the same mission. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Friday’s epic baseball showdown just got a little more … epic.

With both of their prior meetings coming down to a single run, very little separates Coupeville and Chimacum as they prep for a 4 PM game tomorrow, Apr. 27.

And now, thanks to an unexpected plot twist, the teams really are dead even.

Chimacum Athletic Director Tony Haddenham cleared up a nagging mystery Thursday, confirming Port Townsend forfeited a Mar. 21 game to the Cowboys.

While no reason has been given for the forfeit, that changes Chimacum’s record from 4-1 in 1A Olympic League play to 5-1, pushing them back into a tie with Coupeville.

The Wolves (11-4 overall) and Cowboys (7-7) essentially control their own destinies, at least until Friday’s game goes final.

Win out across your final three games and you can’t be denied.

Lose Friday, though, and you fall a game back with two to play, and then you’ll need some help, no matter who you are.

Coupeville, which is expected to send ace Hunter Smith to the mound Friday, is seeking a second league crown in the last three seasons.

That would be a fitting farewell present for the baseball program before CHS exits to the new North Sound Conference in the fall.

Chimacum has never finished higher than third in the previous three years of the four-team league.

 

UPDATE (6:30 PM Thursday):

A Port Townsend starter said the game was forfeited because the RedHawks couldn’t field a full lineup that day. 

   Dane Lucero, here hitting in an earlier game, got the win on the mound Wednesday as Coupeville thrashed Port Townsend. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Right where they want to be, in the driver’s seat.

Taking care of business Wednesday, the Coupeville High School baseball squad bushwhacked host Port Townsend 17-6, clinched a playoff berth and moved into sole possession of first place in the 1A Olympic League.

With the victory, their fourth straight and eighth in their last nine games, the Wolves soar to 5-1 in conference action, 11-4 overall.

That puts them a half game up on Chimacum (4-1, 6-7) which visits Whidbey Friday for the rubber match in a three-game season series.

The Cowboys won 5-4 in the rain at home two weeks ago, then the Wolves returned the favor 1-0 in the prairie sun Monday afternoon.

Port Townsend (1-4, 1-9) and defending league champ Klahowya (1-5, 2-12) bring up the rear, and neither team can catch Coupeville, guaranteeing the Wolves one of the league’s two playoff berths.

While the RedHawks have only won a single game in the past three years, they’ve pushed CHS this season.

The first time the teams faced, the Wolves eked out a 3-1 win, and Wednesday, Coupeville trailed 4-1 after two innings of play.

CHS had gone down one-two-three in the top of the first, then given up three runs in the bottom half of the inning thanks to a couple of errors and some timely PT base-knocks.

The Wolves got one run back in the second, with Julian Welling plunking a single and coming around to score on a ground-out by Dane Lucero, but the RedHawks immediately answered with a score of their own.

Instead of panicking, Coupeville went to work, ramming home three runs in the third to tie things up, before exploding for five in the fourth and eight in the fifth to wrap things.

The Wolves set the table in the third with a Matt Hilborn single, a Joey Lippo walk, then a double steal from the fleet-footed duo.

With runners in scoring position, Hunter Smith came up big, drilling a two-run single, before coming around to score on an RBI single off of Welling’s smoking-hot bat.

With the game knotted at four, Lucero, who whiffed four, bore down on the mound and held the RedHawks relatively in check the rest of the way.

Not content to sit on a narrow lead, the Wolves super-charged their bats heading into the fourth and promptly began crushing the snot out of the Port Townsend pitching.

Jake Hoagland, who obviously ate his Wheaties, bashed a pair of triples, one in the fourth, one in the fifth, with the first one narrowly missing being a round-tripper.

Coupeville actually had a trio of three-baggers on the day, as Hunter Smith jacked one as well.

With the ball flying off the bats of the Wolves, the RedHawks helped out a bit, juggling balls and letting the speedy Wolves turn singles into two or three bases at a time.

CHS finished with 13 hits, with five different hitters racking up at least two base-knocks apiece.

Hilborn (1B, 1B, 2B) led the attack, while Hoagland (two triples) and Smith (1B, 3B) went deep and Lippo and Welling each collected a pair of singles.

Jake Pease and Lucero rapped singles to round out the hit parade, while Lippo had the web gem o’ the day, spearing a liner at second while on a dead sprint.

And they’re off!!

   CMS track stars (l to r) Ella Colwell, Kiara Contreras and Ja’Kenya Hoskins warm up Wednesday before the season-opening meet in Port Angeles. (Photos by Ja’Tarya Hoskins)

Caleb Meyer flies to the heavens.

CMS coach Elizabeth Bitting discusses strategy with two of her athletes.

Contreras is ready to drop a beat-down on some fools.

A new middle school track season kicked off under sunny skies Wednesday, with Coupeville and Forks invading Port Angeles to face off with host Stevens.

“It was a warm and beautiful day and a great learning experience for all,” said Wolf coach Elizabeth Bitting. “Nerves were felt and shaken off.

“All athletes PR’d today and now know what they need to do to get another PR next week.”

 

Pretty complete results (hey, if I’m 68% correct the first time out, working with photos of hand-written notes and just first names, I’m calling it a win):

 

GIRLS:

60 — Ja’Kenya Hoskins 8.94; Angelina Gebhard 9.06; Abigail Place 10.78

100 — Helen Strelow 15.08; Cristina McGrath 16.45; Jordyn Rogers 16.47; Place 16.58

200 — Hoskins 30.45; Audrianna Shaw 31.47; Eryn Wood 34.00; Claire Mayne 34.60; Strelow 35.05

400 — Jaelyn Crebbin 1:11.2; Mary Milnes 1:12; Abigail Ramirez 1:17; Mayne 1:26

800 — Carolyn Lhamon 2:53; Ramirez 3:11

1600 — Lhamon 6:47

200 hurdles — A. Shaw 36.04; Bella Velasco 37.26; Ella Colwell 39.47

4 x 100 relay  — Gebhard, Noelle Daigneault, Wood, Colwell 1:01.79; Mayne, Kiara Contreras, Velasco, Ramirez 1:03.47

4 x 200 relay — Velasco, A. Shaw, Crebbin, Hoskins 2:06; Daigneault, Alana Mihill, Gebhard, Lhamon 2:23

Shot Put — Daigneault 25-10

Discus — Colwell 57-00; McGrath 44-05

Turbo — McGrath 49-02.50; Mihill 35-09; Place 35-08

High Jump — Colwell 4-00

Long Jump — Hoskins 12-00; McGrath 11-01, A. Shaw 10-11; Strelow 10-10, Mayne 9-03; Place 8-02; Wood 4-05

 

BOYS:

60 — Lucious Binning 8.40; Dominic Coffman 9.23; Brayden Coatney 10.36; Jesse Cowan 10.44; Ty Duddridge 11.24

100 — Caleb Meyer 13.03; Aiden Burdge 13.10; Ty Hamilton 13.16; Binnings 13.82; Coffman 14.20; Rieley Araceley 14.42; Tim Ursu 15.40; Matthias Anderson 15.75; Joven Light 16.00; Lucas Salazar 16.29; Duddridge 18.24

200 — Meyer 26.45

400 — Coffman 1:14.2; Elijah Pepin 1:17; Connor Bachmann 1:23; Tate Wyman 1:28

800 — Araceley 2:47

1600 — Pepin 6:27; Wyman 6:36

75 hurdles — M. Anderson 17.81

200 hurdles — Wyman 38.86

4 x 100 relay — Ursu, Burdge, Light, Hamilton 56.66; Aiden Anderson, Salazar, Bachmann, Gabe Shaw 1:07

Shot Put — Logan Martin 36-08; G. Shaw 27-03, Wesley Cowan 19-00

Discus — A. Anderson 45-05; W. Cowan 36-08; J. Cowan 35-00

Turbo — Martin 110-00; Bachmann 67-11; Salazar 63-00; Hamilton 61-00; G. Shaw 54-00; Duddridge 53-10; Light 50-00, A. Anderson 33-05

High Jump — Martin 4-10; G. Shaw 4-06

Long Jump — Araceley 13-04; Hamilton 13-01; Wyman 12-08, Duddridge 9-09

   Elaira Nicolle teamed with Genna Wright Wednesday to win a match against South Whidbey. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Play until the sun goes down.

That seemed to be the objective Wednesday for the final two varsity doubles teams on the court as Coupeville and South Whidbey clashed.

By the time Wolves Kameryn St Onge and Maggie Crimmins finished their epic battle with Falcons Oliana Stange and Ally Lynch, every other court was empty.

And, even though the result of their bout wouldn’t change the outcome of the team match (South Whidbey eventually won 4-1), the duos raged on against the dying sun.

One second-set game went to 24,507 deuces (give or take a few) as all four players took turns whacking crowd-pleasing winners.

Then, at the end, as Crimmins and St Onge tried to pull out a second-set tiebreaker (and force another, match-deciding tie breaker) things got downright bloody.

St Onge, who had been cranking wicked left-handed winners that skidded through the alleys, ripped open a finger and had to make a bee-line for a first-aid kit.

“We’re never going home, are we?”, said Jon Crimmins, Maggie’s proud papa, chuckling as he gazed at a marsh occupying the space where the CHS baseball diamond of his youth once sat.

And, while Stange and Lynch pulled out the win a few points later thanks to a couple of sweet winners, it was a fairly-perfect cap for all involved.

While the final team score was the same as the first time these teams met back in mid-March, the scrappy underdog Wolves (4-8 on the season) showed marked improvement against the Falcons (7-1).

Sophomore sluggers Tia Wurzrainer and Avalon Renninger battled back from a set down to win Wednesday, while freshman Genna Wright won six more games in her second go-around with battle-hardened Ashley Ricketts.

The strong play continued to the JV matches, where Coupeville won twice and Emily Fiedler and Jaimee Masters, in particular, laid down some brilliant shots.

If nothing else, the non-conference match was a good tune-up for Thursday’s ultra-important match-and-a-half at Silverdale.

The Wolves (2-1 in Olympic League play) will wrap a rain-delayed match (it’s sitting at 2-2 with three bouts still undecided), then play their regularly-scheduled tilt with Klahowya (0-3).

Win both and CHS vaults a half game ahead of Chimacum (3-1) and guarantees it will play for a fourth-straight league title.

Complete Wednesday results:

Varsity:

1st Singles — Claire Mietus lost to Robynn Maciel 6-0, 6-2

2nd Singles — Genna Wright lost to Ashley Ricketts 6-3, 6-3

1st Doubles — Payton Aparicio/Sage Renninger lost to Mary Zisette/Alison Papritz 6-2, 6-2

2nd Doubles — Avalon Renninger/Tia Wurzrainer beat Farriss Jokinen/Ainsley Nelson 2-6, 6-3, 10-6

3rd Doubles — Kameryn St Onge/Maggie Crimmins lost to Ally Lynch/Oliana Stange 7-5, 7-6(7-5)

JV:

4th Doubles — Jillian Mayne/Zara Bradley lost to Erin Brewer/McKenna Kelley 8-5

5th Doubles — Megan Behan/Nanci Melendrez lost to Elizabeth Simmons/Lynda Moran 6-4

6th Doubles — Jaimee Masters/Emily Fiedler beat Jenna Pfeiffer/Capri Pierce 8-4

7th Doubles — Bradley/Mayne played Sadie Wilson/Joanie Welever No score recorded

8th Doubles — Elaira Nicolle/Wright beat Mira Harvey/Denise Breton 6-2

   Veronica Crownover tops Coupeville softball in batting average and is tied for the lead in hits and doubles. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The bats are hummin’.

As it preps for Friday’s rivalry game with South Whidbey (4 PM in Cow Town), the Coupeville High School softball squad continues to pile up the offensive numbers.

The Wolves, who sit at 9-4 and shellacked the Falcons 12-0 the first time they played this season, are a well-oiled machine.

The big boppers — Katrina McGranahan, Sarah Wright and Veronica Crownover — are delivering in style, but CHS is also getting major contributions from young guns like Scout Smith, Chelsea Prescott and Emma Mathusek.

The latter, who hits out of the #9 hole, has torn the cover off the ball in the last week-and-a-half, running her batting average up to a sizzlin’ .360.

As Mathusek and Co. prep for the Falcons, a look at the latest sweet statsy stats, as compiled by CHS coaches and posted on MaxPreps:

 

Hitting:

Player AB Runs Hits 2B 3B HR SB BB RBI Avg. OBP
C. Caveness 30 9 7 3 3 5 .233 .303
H. Lodell 38 11 11 2 1 3 3 .289 .357
E. Mathusek 25 5 9 2 5 8 .360 .484
S. Smith 48 17 19 1 3 3 9 .396 .442
L. Rose 29 11 7 2 1 4 4 4 .241 .333
C. Prescott 42 16 10 1 1 4 3 10 .238 .289
M. Davis 12 3 3 2 3 2 .250 .438
K. McGranahan 43 22 18 1 3 14 7 12 .419 .537
M. Bailey 14 4 3 1 4 3 .214 .389
V. Crownover 44 14 21 4 3 3 14 .477 .511
S. Wright 49 18 21 4 2 2 1 22 .429 .429
N. Laxton 15 2 4 1 5 .267 .353

 

Pitching:

Player W/L ERA Gms CG SO Hits Runs BB K IP BF
K. McGranahan 7-2 2.73 11 8 2 46 36 20 56 59 271
S. Smith 2-2 7.00 5 1 22 25 8 6 18 91
C. Prescott 0-0 3.50 1 3 1 2 2 12