Pirates play trio of back-to-back games, but win only one

Pirate Jake Theno slides safely into third base last Wednesday. - Jeff Johnson photo
Pirate Jake Theno slides safely into third base last Wednesday.
— image credit: Jeff Johnson photo

The Vashon High School Pirates baseball team split two league games and lost a non-league game last week.

On Wednesday, they beat Charles Wright Academy. They then lost to the league-leading Chimacum Cowboys on Thursday. Friday, they dropped a non-league contest at Wilson High School in Tacoma.

Chris Pieterick got things going for the Pirates at Charles Wright. The lead-off man for the Pirates, Pieterick took the first pitch of the game deep into the open range of Charles Wright’s left field for a stand-up triple. He would later score on a Tyler Bernheisel sacrifice fly, giving the Pirates a brief 1-0 lead.

Junior pitcher Wes Paulson took the mound for the Pirates. He struggled early, allowing the Tarriers to tie the game before getting two strikeouts to retire the side.

He ended up with eight strikeouts over four innings before being relieved by classmate Garrett Ashbaugh. The Pirates held a 4-2 lead.

Jake Theno added two more Pirate runs — the third on a double. Theno would score Pirate run number seven in the sixth inning by stealing home behind the pitcher’s turned back. Pirates Bernheisel and Kyle Martin had good games offensively, each going 2-for-3 at the plate.

Against Chimacum the following night, the Pirates got rocked early. Bernheisel, the Pirate’s sophomore starting pitcher, was nursing a sore hand from a fall taken against Charles Wright. Subsequent control problems, including an opening walk and hit batter, brought the Cowboys around to score early and often. By the end of the first, the Pirates were in a 7-0 hole. Burnheisel still managed to collect six strikeouts in the three innings he pitched before turning the ball over to Pieterick with the Pirates down 7-2.

The Pirate outfield chased down three fly balls, two caught by Theno and one by Andy Didrickson, to quickly retire Chimacum in the fourth. Two more Cowboy runs had scored in the fifth when freshman shortstop Julian Smith made a leaping grab and doubled up a Chimacum player too far off second base. That capped all scoring in the 9-2 Pirate loss.

By the time the Pirates faced Wilson, their third game in as many days, they were not only hurting but looked tired. Coach Steve Hall canceled the Saturday game against Shelton for that reason.

Matt Amick took the mound for the Pirates and looked solid in his second start. He held Wilson scoreless through two, before they managed to make contact and find the holes in the Pirate defense.

Unfortunately, the Pirate bats were mostly silent, allowing Wilson to get ahead 8-0 in the fifth. They would record their first, and only, runs in the sixth in the 8-4 loss.

Hall lauded Chimacum following the Pirate loss there.

While lamenting Bernheisel’s injury and the impact it had on the game, he noted that the Cowboys “are fundamentally a sounder team than we are. They do all the little things well. Baseball is about being fundamentally sound in every aspect of the game.”

He said that he had challenged his players to take their game to that next level by making efforts to master the fundamentals in practice and in games.

He noted that the team is a talented group but that their success would depend on their ability to execute the fundamentals. With five league games scheduled over the next two weeks, the response to Coach Hall’s challenge will soon be seen.

The Pirates hosted Orting on Monday and play at Cascade Christian today. They then travel to Orting tomorrow (Thursday). Their next — and final — home game is against Seattle Christian at 4 p.m. Monday, April 27.

— Charlie Pieterick is the father of Pirate Chris Pieterick.

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