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Sage Sharp was among those honored at the CHS baseball banquet. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Another season in the books.

The Coupeville High School baseball program put an official stamp on things Friday night with an awards banquet, doling out honors after a very-successful campaign.

The Wolf varsity went 11-1 in Northwest 2B/1B League play, 13-7 overall, claiming a conference title and just barely missing out on a trip to state.

Meanwhile, Coupeville’s JV racked up three wins and a tie, as a roster which included several 8th graders showed great promise.

Xavier Murdy gives the ball a ride.

 

CHS coaches, led by hardball guru Will Thayer, doled out the following at their banquet:

 

Varsity awards:

Offensive MVP — Scott Hilborn

Defensive MVP — Xavier Murdy and Hawthorne Wolfe

Starting Pitching MVP — Hilborn

Relief Pitching MVP — Wolfe

Most Improved — Sage Sharp

Top Positive Influence — Cole Hutchinson

Top Program Newcomer — Chase Anderson

Wolf Pack Leader — Murdy

Four-Year Awards — Cody Roberts and Wolfe

Chase Anderson brings the heat.

Varsity letter winners:

Chase Anderson
Peyton Caveness
Scott Hilborn
Cole Hutchinson
Xavier Murdy
Jack Porter
Cody Roberts
Sage Sharp
Jonathan Valenzuela
Cole White
Hawthorne Wolfe

 

JV awards:

Offensive MVP — Cole White

Defensive MVP — Aiden O’Neill

Pitching MVP — Coop Cooper

Most Improved — Cooper

Wolf Pack Leader — Landon Roberts

Landon Roberts smacks a base-hit.

JV certificates:

Coop Cooper
Camden Glover
Aiden O’Neill
Johnny Porter
Gabe Reed
Landon Roberts
Yohannon Sandles
Alex Smith
Kai Wong
Seth Woollet

 

Manager:

Brooklyn Thayer

Brooklyn Thayer, the power behind the throne.

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It’s one title…

Two titles…

Three league crowns for CHS spring teams. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Hang three more plaques in the Coupeville High School gym.

The weather has been fairly lousy this spring, but Wolf sports teams have provided their own sunshine with their play.

CHS baseball, softball, and girls tennis all claimed Northwest 2B/1B League titles, with track and field narrowly missing out on making it a clean sweep.

The oval kings made up for that, however, as the boys track team captured a district crown Saturday.

As we look to the week ahead, the regular season is done, and postseason play is all the rage.

Coupeville girls tennis and track and field are at Bi-Districts Friday, May 20, travelling to Tumwater and Chehalis respectively.

Meanwhile, Wolf softball returns to the field — after 18 days off — with a winner-to-state, loser-out game May 21 in Centralia against a yet-to-be-named foe.

With the end of the school year fast approaching, and baseball already eliminated, a final look at NWL standings, through games of May 14:

 

Northwest League baseball:

School League Overall
Coupeville 11-1 13-7
Friday Harbor 10-1 15-2
Orcas Island 6-4 9-6
MV Christian 6-5 10-7
Darrington 2-7 4-11
La Conner 2-9 2-11
Concrete 0-10 0-11

 

Northwest League girls tennis:

School League Overall
Coupeville 2-0 4-1
Friday Harbor 0-2 0-3

 

Northwest League softball:

School League Overall
Coupeville 8-0 16-2
Friday Harbor 6-2 8-6
Darrington 3-5 6-6
Orcas Island 2-4 3-6
La Conner 0-8 0-15

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Hawthorne Wolfe had Coupeville’s lone hit Friday in a season-closing 3-2 playoff loss. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Friday Harbor has a flair for the dramatic.

The Wolverines won two of three baseball games this season against Coupeville, with both victories coming in the bottom of the seventh and final inning.

The second of those losses — a 3-2 defeat on a neutral field in La Conner Friday afternoon — will likely sting the longest for CHS.

That’s largely because it ends Coupeville’s season a game shy of advancing to the state tournament and sends a strong pack of Wolf seniors to the exit.

CHS won the regular-season Northwest 2B/1B League title, finishing 11-1 to Friday Harbor’s 10-1 mark, with Mother Nature preventing the Wolverines from playing a final game against Orcas Island.

But, come playoff time, when the 2B schools split from the 1B, seeding is determined only by games against other 2B league schools.

Coupeville and Friday Harbor each swept a pair of games from La Conner, and split their season series, forcing a tiebreaker game to determine who would get District 1’s lone berth to the 16-team 2B state tourney.

The Wolves, who finish 13-7, were seeking their first trip to the big dance since 2014, but it wasn’t to be.

Friday Harbor, which sits at 15-2 overall after the win, begins single elimination play May 21.

Call Friday’s game what you will — a play-in game, a postseason thriller, the rubber match in a three-game royal rumble — it was decided by a hit.

In a game in which very few base-knocks were recorded.

Friday Harbor finished with just a pair of doubles, but the second one was a killer.

Meanwhile, CHS senior Hawthorne Wolfe led off the game by lacing a single, before Coupeville went 28 at-bats without registering another hit on the day.

The teams did combine to eke out 12 walks, and a handful of errors kept things interesting all the way until the end.

That final flourish came in the bottom of the seventh, with Friday Harbor’s Connor Haines drawing a one-out walk, then skittering to second on a groundout.

Freshman Graham Learing, having taken two quick strikes to begin his at-bat, beat the odds, crunching a liner to left which found daylight and dropped in for his team’s first hit since the third inning.

Running full-tilt, Haines crashed home, sending the Wolverines into celebration mode as they punched their ticket to state.

For Coupeville, which was trying to send a second-straight boys team to the tourney after basketball made the trip to Eastern Washington, it ended a frustrating finale.

The Wolves, even with just the one hit, put runners on base in five of seven innings, and led 2-0 all the way until the bottom of the fifth.

While Hawk didn’t come around to score after his opening single, Coupeville finally broke a scoreless tie with a run in the top of the fourth, then another the very next frame.

The game’s first run came courtesy Scott Hilborn, who walked, stole two bases, then tapped home after a balk.

Scott Hilborn had a strong junior season, and will be back for more.

But, while Coupeville picked up three other walks in the inning, with Xavier Murdy, Sage Sharp, and 8th grader Chase Anderson showing great patience, there was no big run-fest to be had.

Friday Harbor pitcher Nathan Posenjak, who went the distance, gave up another run in the fifth — with Jonathan Valenzuela walking and coming around to score on a wild pitch — but escaped each time.

Wolfe and Hilborn, who teamed up to whiff eight batters, matched their rival hurler, but Friday Harbor finally got on the board in the bottom of the fifth.

A pair of walks and two errors allowed the Wolverines to knot the game up at 2-2 and set the stage for a dramatic ending.

Coupeville got a runner to second in the sixth, with Cody Roberts reaching on an error, but was ultimately denied, then went down 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh.

The game marked the end of the road for CHS seniors Murdy, Roberts, Cole Hutchinson, Sharp, and Wolfe.

Xavier Murdy, class to the end.

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Joey Lippo

It’s the cherry on top of the sundae.

Coupeville grad Joey Lippo was honored Thursday, named as a First-Team All-League pick when North Atlantic Conference baseball coaches picked their all-stars.

Lippo, a sophomore at the University of Maine at Presque Isle, was honored for his play in the outfield, and was one of two Owls tabbed.

Junior first-baseman Timothy Burns was also a First-Team pick.

Lippo started all 35 games for UMPI this season, and led the Owls in at-bats (123), runs (31), triples (2), RBI (22), walks (14), and stolen bases (8).

Skyy Lippo’s twin brother was second on his squad in hits (39), batting average (.317), on-base percentage (.386) and home runs (1).

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A couple more hours to fine-tune the swing. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

One more day to build the anticipation.

Thursday’s baseball battle royal between Coupeville and Friday Harbor — a one-game showdown in La Conner to decide which of the schools advance to the state tournament — has been bumped a day.

Mother Nature, as she has been all spring, is a pain in the tushie.

The game, now set for 3 PM Friday, still on that neutral field in La Conner, pits a 13-6 Wolf squad against a 14-2 Wolverine team.

Coupeville is the Northwest 2B/1B League champ, having finished 11-1 to Friday Harbor’s 10-1, but playoff seeding is determined only by the games between 2B schools.

Both teams swept two games from La Conner, while splitting their own season series.

Friday Harbor won 3-2 on its home field, while Coupeville returned the favor 11-8 on Whidbey.

The winner of the play-in game advances to the 16-team 2B state tourney, which kicks off May 21.

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