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The bright future of Coupeville baseball. (Photo courtesy Jeff Porter)

One more game, before another shutdown.

Coupeville’s Babe Ruth baseball squad hasn’t had much time on the diamond this summer, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic throwing a huge wrench into things.

But Thursday the Wolves took the field to host Anacortes, and, while they fell 5-3 despite a late rally, they got to play, which was a win in itself.

It was Coupeville’s sixth, and final, game of this shortened season, as it only has nine players and won’t go on to play in any tournaments.

The mere fact the Wolves were on the CHS diamond might have come to a surprise to some, as Washington state Governor Jay Inslee issued new limits on gatherings which went into effect July 20.

Counties in Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan, such as Island County, are currently restricted to 10 people getting together.

However, after some digging by Oak Harbor Babe Ruth officials, it was determined there was an exclusion for outdoor sporting events.

Which brings us to Thursday, when the scrappy Wolves fell behind 5-0, then almost came all the way back in the bottom of the seventh and final inning.

Coupeville opened its last at-bats of the game, and season, with four straight walks, as Camden Glover, Johnny Porter, Marcelo Gebhard, and Aiden O’Neill all got aboard thanks to eagle eyes.

That set up the top of the order, and Scott Hilborn and Jack Porter responded, whacking back-to-back singles to make the Anacortes coaching staff start sweating in the autumn-like weather.

But the visitors got away with one, finding a way to stop the Coupeville onslaught and deny Wolf fans a chance to storm the field in celebration.

Anacortes got on the board early, plating two runners in the first, then two more in the second.

A final tally in the top of the sixth provided a little bit of a cushion.

Jack Porter, Johnny Valenzuela, and Hilborn split the pitching duties for Coupeville, with Valenzuela whiffing seven hitters across five innings of work.

Hilborn and Jack Porter paced the Wolf offense, collecting a pair of singles apiece, while Chase Anderson and Valenzuela also picked up base knocks.

Coupeville tallied seven walks, led by two each from Gebhard and O’Neill, to go with its six hits.

Eight of the nine Wolves in uniform reached base Thursday, with Landon Roberts rounding out the lineup for a team with a bright future, and, hopefully, many more games ahead of it.

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