Posts Tagged ‘Friday Harbor’

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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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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Abby Mulholland unleashes a blistering serve. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Helen Strelow whacks a winner.

Winning titles is kind of their thing.

Take a look at the Wall of Fame in the Coupeville High School gym, and you’ll see girls tennis has the most conference crowns of any Wolf athletic program.

Cliff Horr had a very-successful run as CHS net coach, followed by the Wolves racking up title after title during the ongoing 17-year journey of hardcourt guru Ken Stange.

Tuesday afternoon Stange’s current squad tossed another accomplishment on the pile o’ success, swatting visiting Friday Harbor 5-0 to seal the deal.

The Wolves, battling dodgy weather and a lack of foes this spring, finish 2-0 in Northwest 2B/1B League play, 4-1 overall.

Now it’s on to the postseason for Coupeville’s top girls, with two singles players and two doubles duos headed to Tumwater May 20 for the District 1/4 tourney.

Winners there advance to the state championships May 27-28 in Yakima.


Complete Tuesday results:



1st Singles — Abby Mulholland won 6-0, 6-1

2nd Singles — Helen Strelow won 6-1, 6-1

1st Doubles — Noelle Daigneault/Eryn Wood won 6-2, 6-1

2nd Doubles — Katelin McCormick/Mary Milnes won 6-1, 6-2

3rd Doubles — Hayley Fiedler/Vivian Farris won 6-0, 6-1



4th Doubles — Sophie Martin/Lucy Tenore won 6-4

5th Doubles — Skylar Parker/Karyme Castro lost 6-4

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Xavier Murdy tracks a falling baseball. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Peyton Caveness tries to nab a runner at first base. (Morgan White photo)

Rain washed away Friday Harbor’s chances to retain a share of the Northwest 2B/1B League baseball title.

Mother Nature is piddling on Orcas Island Thursday, erasing the regular-season finale.

With the 1B schools from the NWL starting their own playoff runs Saturday, and more rain expected on Orcas Friday, there is no chance to reschedule.

That means Coupeville (11-1 in NWL action, 13-6 overall) finishes a half-game up on Friday Harbor (10-1, 14-2), though the teams will still clash in a winner-to-state, loser-out playoff game.

The Wolves and Wolverines face off Thursday, May 12 on a neutral field in La Conner.

First pitch is 3 PM.

Whichever team is standing at the end gets the NWL’s one berth to the 16-team 2B state tournament, which begins May 21.

Friday Harbor rallied to win the first meeting of the season 3-2 on its home diamond, while Coupeville got the bats going in an 11-8 win on Whidbey the second time around.

CHS Athletic Director Willie Smith, a longtime former hardball coach, (sort of) agrees with me that his school should get a slight advantage in the playoffs based on being league champs.

“I’ll ask to start up half a run!”, he said with a big laugh, then went back to dealing with more important things.


CHS hosts 1B playoff game:

A loser-out District 1/2 baseball playoff game goes down on Coupeville’s field Saturday.

Orcas Island will face Muckleshoot Tribal, with first pitch at 1 PM.

No admission is being charged.

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Jack Porter and Coupeville bounced Friday Harbor to move into first place in the Northwest 2B/1B League. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Is there anything sweeter than hearing the fans of a rival team getting really, really quiet?

You know, that moment when all the bluster turns into sweet, sweet tears as the guys and gals in the wrong colors realize their ferry ride home is going to be a long, sad one.

Such was the plight for Friday Harbor fans Wednesday afternoon, as the sun faded over the prairie, and their baseball team’s unblemished league record got all dinged up.

Bushwhacked 11-8 by a Coupeville hardball squad which played fast, loose, and dangerous all day, the Wolverines fell out of first place in the Northwest 2B/1B League for the first time this season.

Now it’s the real Wolves, the ones sporting black and red, who sit atop the seven-team conference at 9-1 in league play, 11-5 overall.

Friday Harbor falls a half-game back at 8-1, and Coupeville’s win all but assures the teams will meet for a third time — at a neutral site — to decide which school will claim the NWL’s only berth to the 2B state tourney.

For now, the Wolves will briefly bask in the win, then immediately hit the road to play a non-conference tilt Thursday at South Whidbey.

Senior Night against Orcas Island is Friday, with a May 3 trip to Darrington wrapping the regular season.

Wednesday’s royal rumble under rare sunny skies meant everything for Coupeville, as a Friday Harbor win would have clinched that trip to state for the visitors.

The Wolverines stole a 3-2 win the first time around, courtesy a late-game meltdown by the CHS pitching staff, but the rematch was a different story.

Coupeville hurlers Hawthorne Wolfe and Scott Hilborn largely held Friday Harbor at bay, getting into a few sticky spots at times, but almost always finding a way back out.

That was true from the get-go, as the visitors loaded the bags in the top of the first when what would have been an inning-ending third strike kicked away from CHS catcher Xavier Murdy.

Showing no nerves, Hawk nodded.

X nodded.

And the duo promptly punched out the next batter to end things with the first sob breaking loose from the throat of a Friday Harbor fan.

Sparked by the wham-bam ending, the Wolves jumped on the Wolverines for three runs in the bottom half of the frame.

Wolfe singled, Jonathan Valenzuela walked, Hilborn beat out a chopper, then Murdy whacked a ball back up the middle which Friday Harbor misplayed into a two-run error.

After that Coupeville proved it didn’t know how to flinch, with Peyton Caveness and Sage Sharp both gritting their teeth as wayward pitches found random body parts.

Peyton Caveness reached base three times in the win.

Sharp’s walk the hard way pushed the lead out to 3-0 and gave a brief glimmer of hope that CHS might just 10-run the Wolverines.

Alas, it wasn’t to be, as Friday Harbor scraped its way back into the game, dumping three runs on the board in the second, and another tally in the third to reclaim the lead.

But, just as Friday Harbor fans started to puff out their chests and let loose with a lot of pro-Wolverine chatter, Coupeville punctured their dreams.

A couple of hits, a couple of walks, and a lot of aggressive running on the basepaths — which provoked Friday Harbor errors both physical and mental — allowed CHS to bolt back in front at 8-4 through three frames.

That was a lead the Wolves would never lose.

Friday Harbor sliced the margin to 8-5 in the fourth, then 8-7 through the top of the fifth, but time and again Coupeville proved resilient.

Wolfe sliced an RBI single to center to push the lead back to two runs, before the Wolves slapped home twice on face-first dives into home in the bottom of the sixth.

Murdy came crashing home hard on a wild pitch to make it 10-7, before Caveness hugged the plate after Cody Roberts bopped a long sac fly.

Down to their final outs, the visitors got one more run in the top of the seventh but watched their final baserunner wilt as Hilborn bore down to slam the door.

First he induced a groundout to Valenzuela at third, who came up with a gorgeous throw.

As the ball snapped into the waiting glove at first, there were “oohs” and “ahs” from Coupeville fans, and a “sweet son of a goat lickin’ whore!!” (or something close) from an especially-peeved Friday Harbor rooter.

Think how that dude felt when Hilborn erased the final batter with a strikeout, the bat missing the ball by a healthy six to eight inches?

Oh, enough sweet, salty Friday Harbor tears to fill all the bathtubs in Coupeville tonight!


Wednesday stats:

Peyton Caveness — 2 singles, 1 walk
Scott Hilborn — 1 single
Xavier Murdy — 2 singles
Cody Roberts — 1 walk
Sage Sharp — 1 single, 2 walks
Jonathan Valenzuela — 1 walk 
Cole White — 1 single, 1 walk
Hawthorne Wolfe — 3 singles

Hawthorne Wolfe smacked three hits Wednesday, and got the win as a pitcher.

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