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South Whidbey High School grad Charlie Patterson. (Photo property Bellevue University)

Different state, same great success rate.

South Whidbey High School grad Charlie Patterson is chucking a baseball in Nebraska these days, and he’s still got wicked good stuff.

The former Falcon, who began his college hardball career with a two-year run at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon, now reps Bellevue University.

The Bruins are an NAIA school playing in the North Star Athletic Association, and it was that league which honored Patterson Monday afternoon.

The NSAA tabbed him as its Pitcher of the Week, based on his performance in a 5-0 win over Mayville.

Patterson scattered three hits over seven innings, whiffing five while only allowing a single batter to make it as far as third base on the day.

The Bellevue pitcher is a pristine 4-0 this campaign, with an ERA of 3.22.

Patterson has made seven appearances for the Bruins, six of them starts, while striking out 45 hitters across 36.1 innings.

During his days at SWHS, Patterson was a standout athlete, playing football, basketball, and baseball for the Falcons.

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Mary Milnes is part of an undefeated CHS tennis team. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Andrew Williams and Wolf baseball are still in the hunt for a league title. (Jackie Saia photo)

Things are working out quite nicely.

As area high schools return to action after a year off thanks to the ongoing pandemic, one has risen above the others this spring.

Coupeville, the newcomer to the Northwest 2B/1B League, has won conference crowns in softball and girls tennis, and still has an outside shot at making it three-for-three with a baseball title.

Overall, looking at the three spring sports in which win/loss records are recorded (track is its own unique thing), CHS is 19-2, with almost as many wins as the other six schools combined.

Friday Harbor, which currently holds the top spot in baseball, sits second with 11 victories, with Darrington (6), Orcas Island (4), and Mount Vernon Christian (1) trailing.

Concrete, and somewhat surprisingly, traditional league power La Conner, have yet to win a spring contest.

Things come to a close this coming week, followed by the transition to traditional fall sports.

Coupeville tennis finishes first, playing at Friday Harbor Monday, while track has two meets – one Wednesday at La Conner, before the League Championship meet Saturday on Whidbey.

Softball is scheduled to travel to Friday Harbor on Friday, then La Conner Saturday, while CHS baseball gets four games in the final five days of the season.

The Wolf diamond men host Mount Vernon Christian Tuesday, celebrating Senior Night, before joining softball on its road trips.

If Coupeville baseball bounces MVC, then sweeps a doubleheader from Friday Harbor — the only team it’s lost to this season — the Wolves would move into a tie with the Wolverines heading into their respective season finales.

Overcoming a 2.5 game deficit in the final week won’t be easy, but stranger things have happened.

Where we are through March 28:

 

Northwest League baseball:

School League Overall
Friday Harbor 8-0 8-0
Coupeville 5-2 5-2
Darrington 2-1 2-1
Orcas Island 2-5 2-5
MV Christian 1-3 1-3
La Conner 0-7 0-7

 

Northwest League girls tennis:

School League Overall
Coupeville 5-0 5-0
Friday Harbor 0-5 0-5

 

Northwest League softball:

School League Overall
Coupeville 9-0 9-0
Darrington 4-3 4-3
Friday Harbor 3-4 3-4
Orcas Island 2-4 2-4
La Conner 0-3 0-3
Concrete 0-4 0-4

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Jonathan Valenzuela collected a team-high eight hits Tuesday, as Coupeville swept a doubleheader from Orcas Island. (Photos by Morgan White)

Scoring was not an issue.

Pounding the ball to all fields Tuesday, the Coupeville High School baseball team threw down 39 hits and 36 runs, rolling to a doubleheader sweep on Orcas Island.

After collecting 16-8 and 20-1 wins, the Wolves sit at a tidy 5-2 on the season.

Now, the Coupeville bashers get to cool their collective heels for a bit, not playing again until the home finale next Tuesday, March 30.

That will be Senior Night for the lone Wolf 12th grader, Daniel Olson. Then he and his teammates wrap their pandemic-shortened season with three road games.

The trip to Orcas Tuesday was a long run, and even with the second game mercy-ruled after five innings, the teams raced rapidly-encroaching darkness to finish things.

But they did, sending CHS coach Will Thayer and his men back to the ferry with an extra spring in their step.

Xavier Murdy had a pair of doubles during a five-hit afternoon.

How the day played out:

 

Game 1:

Coupeville fell behind early, but never flinched, collecting 14 hits en route to scoring in five of seven innings.

The heart of the order was on fire, with the 2-3-4-5 hitters combining to account for all but one of those base-knocks.

The biggest bats in the opener were swung by Scott Hilborn and Sage Sharp, who each rapped out four hits apiece, with Hilborn crushing a triple.

Sharp, who reached base all five times he went to the plate in the opener, also came around to score all five times, while John Valenzuela added two doubles and a single, scoring three times.

Daniel Olson spanked a pair of singles, Xavier Murdy rounded out the hit attack with a one-bagger of his own, with Hawthorne Wolfe (3), starting pitcher Cody Roberts (2), Hilborn (2), and freshman Cole White (1) combining to tap home multiple times.

Coupeville put up three runs in the first, a single score in the third, then closed with a 3-6-3 tally across the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings.

While offense carried the day, there was a defensive gem, as well.

Peyton Caveness, busting his tail in right field, made a fairly-spectacular running, diving catch to blunt an Orcas rally, even earning some appreciative oohs and ahs from the rival fans.

 

Game 2:

Every ball Orcas threw, Coupeville blasted right back.

Or at least it probably seemed that way, with nine different Wolf hitters collecting a base-knock, and nine of Coupeville’s 25 hits being of the extra-base variety.

Wolfe and Valenzuela had five hits each, with the former bombing a trio of two-baggers and the latter settling for a pair of doubles.

Olson, who got the win on the mound, had a long triple, and might have gone for the inside the park homerun if the score wasn’t so lopsided.

Meanwhile, Murdy (2) and Hilborn (1) teamed up for three doubles, with young guns Nick Guay and Caveness adding base-knocks as CHS ran up a 2-1-5-5-7 run tally across five innings.

Also seeing playing time for Coupeville were Miles Davidson and Andrew Williams, as Thayer shuffled his lineup for maximum appeal.

On the day, Valenzuela led the boomin’ bats, registering eight hits across two games, while Olson and Hilborn had six each.

Also putting some good “wood” on the ball were heavy hitters Wolfe (5), Murdy (5), Sharp (5), Roberts (2), Guay (1), and Caveness (1).

Cody Roberts and Co. did this a lot Tuesday, scoring 36 runs.

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Jaimee Masters is a key part of an undefeated CHS tennis squad. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Cole White swings into action. (Morgan White photo)

Still the frontrunners.

When you tally up the three spring sports which keep win/loss records, one school in the Northwest 2B/1B League remains far out in front.

That would be Coupeville, which has as many wins (11) as the next two schools combined.

The Wolves have undefeated, first-place softball and girls tennis teams, while baseball is solidly in second-place.

That puts CHS ahead of Friday Harbor, which has six wins and holds first-place in baseball, and Darrington, with five wins.

Mount Vernon Christian (2) and Orcas Island (1) are on the board, while Concrete and La Conner are still searching for that elusive first win of spring.

The week ahead offers a bevy of games for Coupeville teams, though nothing is certain in the Age of Coronavirus.

Wolf softball is set to travel to Orcas Tuesday for a doubleheader, before a side trip to Concrete Friday and a home game against Darrington Saturday.

That last game is Senior Night for the CHS sluggers.

Meanwhile, baseball also gets a doubleheader at Orcas Tuesday, then is off for a week.

Wolf tennis plays matches four and five in its six-match death rumble with Friday Harbor, the only other NWL school to favor the net game.

Monday, the match is in Friday Harbor, while Friday the Wolf net crew is at home for its Senior Night festivities.

Rounding out the schedule is CHS track and field, which travels Thursday to Mount Vernon for a league meet.

Where things stand through March 21:

 

Northwest League baseball:

School League Overall
Friday Harbor 4-0 4-0
Coupeville 3-2 3-2
Darrington 1-1 1-1
Orcas Island 1-1 1-1
MV Christian 2-3 2-3
La Conner 0-4 0-4

 

Northwest League girls tennis:

School League Overall
Coupeville 3-0 3-0
Friday Harbor 0-3 0-3

 

Northwest League softball:

School League Overall
Coupeville 5-0 5-0
Darrington 4-1 4-1
Friday Harbor 2-3 2-3
Orcas Island 0-1 0-1
La Conner 0-2 0-2
Concrete 0-4 0-4

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Hawthorne Wolfe socked a double, one of Coupeville’s four hits Friday afternoon. (Morgan White photo)

They’re still the gold standard.

Friday Harbor High School is the big dog of Northwest 2B/1B League baseball, a point driven home by the Wolverines ten-running visiting Coupeville Friday afternoon.

Scoring in every inning, with nearly half their runs coming with two outs, the hosts waxed the Wolves 11-1 in a game mercy-ruled in the fifth inning.

With the win, Friday Harbor improves to 4-0, while second-place Coupeville slips to 3-2, with both losses having come against the league leaders.

CHS will get right back at it, with a road doubleheader at Orcas Island next Tuesday, and it still has two more games scheduled against the Wolverines late in this pandemic-shortened season.

Playing on a gusty early-spring afternoon, with a few rain drops streaking the cameras Friday Harbor used to stream the contest, Coupeville didn’t look all that bad.

But Friday Harbor took advantage of every small miscue, while playing fairly-flawless defense behind solid pitching.

An RBI double into the gap and a long sac fly in the bottom of the first staked the Wolverines to an early 2-0 lead, and they steadily extended the margin.

Friday Harbor tacked on just a solitary run in the second, as Wolf hurler Cody Roberts escaped danger with a couple of big strikeouts, but a breakdown in the third was fatal.

With two on and two out, Roberts pumped a third strike past a flailing Wolverine slugger, but the wind caught the ball at the last second and sent it skittering far away from catcher Sage Sharp’s glove.

Given second life, Friday Harbor took advantage, plating three runners after the weather-related mishap and effectively busting the game open.

Coupeville snagged its lone run in the top of the fourth, thanks to Jonathan Valenzuela and Daniel Olson connecting on back-to-back base-knocks around a couple of steals from the former.

Friday Harbor’s announcing crew on the stream struggled mightily with Peyton Caveness¬†and Hawthorne Wolfe’s names — calling the latter “Hank” at one point, but reserved their mightiest tongue twisting for Valenzuela.

Which is just sad.

He has the EXACT SAME LAST NAME as one of the most famous modern-era Major League Baseball players.

A man who played 17 years, went to six All-Star games, won a World Series, and is the only player to ever win Cy Young and Rookie of the Year honors in the same season.

You might have heard of him — Fernando Valenzuela was, and still is, a beloved legend in two countries.

And that last name ain’t that hard to pronounce.

Anyways, back on the blustery diamond, Friday Harbor escaped in the fourth thanks to a double play, before tacking on a solo run in their half of the inning, then four more in the fifth to end things.

Roberts and Olson, who came on in relief in the third, combined to fan five Wolverine hitters, while Wolfe, Xavier Murdy, Valenzuela, and Olson each had a hit for the CHS offense.

The big bop was a two-out double to left-center in the third from Wolfe, but unfortunately, Coupeville’s speedy leadoff hitter was left stranded.

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