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Posts Tagged ‘big comeback’

Cody Roberts pitched strongly in relief Saturday in Coupeville’s opener. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Erase the first half hour and things were pretty good.

Back on the baseball diamond for the first time since 2019, the Coupeville High School hardball squad dug itself a big hole Saturday, then almost clawed all the way back out again.

But it wasn’t to be, as the Wolves stranded the tying run on base in the final inning, falling 7-5 to visiting Friday Harbor.

The first baseball game played since the pandemic wiped out all prep sports last spring, it also marked Coupeville’s return after many years to the Northwest 2B/1B League, and the debut for new head coach Will Thayer.

The new diamond guru liked some of what he saw, but could have done without his pitching staff giving up 11 walks in the first two innings en route to falling behind 6-0.

“It was a good game,” Thayer said. “Rough first inning and a half, then we pulled together.

“It was a good gauge of where we stand, and, if we would have started fast, I believe we would have had a different outcome.”

Daniel Olson, the lone senior on this Coupeville squad, got the call on the mound and opened things by whiffing the leadoff hitter.

After that, however, he had some control problems, helped by an ump with a tight strike zone.

Without registering a base hit, and actually only making contact once, Friday Harbor still managed to put three runs on the board in the first, and another three in the second.

Wolf junior Cody Roberts came on in relief midway through the second inning, and started firing b-b’s, while Olson came back around to provide plenty of spark to Coupeville’s offense.

Cody pitching was close to shut down,” Thayer said.

The Wolves almost immediately began to chip away at the lead, tossing a run on the board in the bottom of the second, two more tallies in the third, and a run in the fourth.

Olson had a key base-knock in the second — the first hit for either team — while Jonathan Valenzuela bashed an RBI double in the third which plated Scott Hilborn.

Finding a nice groove at the plate, the Wolves also got hits from Zane Oldenstadt and Hawthorne Wolfe in the fourth, narrowing the lead back to 6-4.

From there, the two squads exchanged runs in the fifth, before both pitching staffs clamped down on the hitters.

Trailing by two with two outs and no one on base in the bottom of the seventh, and final inning, Coupeville almost produced a rally for the memory books.

Olson and Roberts punched back-to-back hits, with the latter representing the tying run, but Friday Harbor escaped, ending the game on a strikeout.

In this pared-down pandemic season in which all the players, fans, and umps will wear masks, Coupeville has an 11-game schedule.

Up next is a home doubleheader Friday, March 12, with La Conner coming to The Rock.

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Anthony Bergeron swoops under Sultan's Giovonni Williams for two. (Shelli Trumbull photos)

Anthony Bergeron swoops under Sultan’s Giovonni Williams for two. (Shelli Trumbull photos)

Bodies were flying everywhere. Cheerleaders were shocked. Sheldon Rosenkrance barely flinched.

Bodies were flying everywhere. Cheerleaders were shocked. CHS Principal Sheldon Rosenkrance (far left) barely flinched.

Yegads … where to begin?

171 combined points. Two technical fouls. Two slam dunks and at least one botched one.

Nick Streubel going off like a maniac in the fourth quarter, throwing down 16 points in six minutes, only stopping his assault on the basket after he crumpled to the ground and freaked out the crowd by grabbing his knee.

Which turned out to be fine, though The Big Hurt later emerged from the locker room with his ankle wrapped in ice.

A visit to Coupeville by perhaps the Cascade Conference’s best player and certainly its biggest ass (not the same player), all in one night.

And that’s just part of the story.

What we do know is that Sultan used a stunning run and gun offense Tuesday, led by the electric Giovonni Williams (he of the high flyin’ dunks, both made and once, spectacularly botched), to pour on the points.

Then the Turks withstood an almost more furious comeback by Coupeville — which rolled up 32 points in the fourth quarter — escaping with a 91-80 victory.

Though not all the drama was done at the final buzzer.

Sultan’s Cooper Beucherie, who had picked up a technical, fouled out moments after loudly telling teammates he’d see them on the bench.

On the way there, he kicked over a chair while running a constant war of words with Wolf fans.

Former CHS football star Caleb Valko was almost kicked out of the gym during the verbal scrum — after being screamed at by a school official for something said by someone else in the stands — while the tart Turk¬†steadfastly refused to shake hands with any of the Wolves after the game.

An aggressive (and let’s admit it, often very effective) defender, the corn rowed Beucherie is Sultan’s answer to Ron Artest.

I’m sure Turk fans love him, and it’s hard not to give him credit, as he openly goads on opposing crowds and seems to love the screaming.

When he missed two technical free throws, after CHS coach Anthony Smith was dinged by a ref with a paper-thin shell who apparently doesn’t like being questioned, Beucherie heard the jeers rain down.

Smiling broadly, he waved to the crowd and then used the moment to fire up the Turk bench.

So hey, he’s an ass, but he owns it. Give the kid some credit. He knows what works.

Just like the calmer, but much-more-explosive Williams, who threw down 24 points with almost every one of them coming on a play that drew oohs and ahs, even from rival fans.

Coupeville senior Anthony Bergeron went at Williams several times, as the duo put on a can-you-top-this show.

Smiling rivals in the midst of a game that was otherwise rough and tumble — as any match-up with Sultan usually is — they were the main attraction.

Until the fourth quarter, when, down by 30, the Wolves got deadly serious and rocked Sultan back on its heels for a bit.

Streubel, easily the biggest boy on the court at 6-foot-3 and 285 pounds of gridiron-honed muscle, went off, snatching rebounds, spinning for soft jumpers in the paint and basically being unstoppable.

At one point he put together his own 10-4 run, scoring all of Coupeville’s points, then he turned point guard.

Bergeron fired an inbounds pass the length of the court to Streubel, who snagged it out of the air with one hand, then whirled, pump-faked a defender and spun the ball around the guy’s arm to a wide-open Wiley Hesselgrave.

Bang-boom, easy layup.

The good times came to a crashing halt when Streubel went down several plays later, crumpling and grabbing at his knee.

When he was able to walk off with the assistance of coach Dustin Van Velkinburgh and teammate Joel Walstad, a lot of the air that had left the gym came flooding back in.

Without Streubel in the game, Coupeville actually scored the final six points of the game, with Gavin O’Keefe’s three-pointer capping a 32-14 Wolf run in the fourth quarter.

Now 1-7 overall, 0-4 in Cascade Conference play, the Wolves spread their scoring between Streubel (18), Hesselgrave (16), Bergeron (14) Walstad (11), O’Keefe (9), Morgan Payne (7) and Aaron Trumbull (5).

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