By CHARLIE PIETERICK
For The Beachcomber
The Vashon High School Pirate baseball team split two league games last week. On Wednesday, April 16, the Pirates unloaded 8-1 on the Cascade Christian Cougars. Then on Friday, April 18, they took a 10-2 drubbing from the Seattle Christian Warriors.
Against the Cougars, Micah Deibel gave the Pirates five innings of shutout pitching, distributing only three hits. The Pirate defense snuffed out any Cougar runners who did reach base. Senior catcher Tom Schumaker gunned down a Cougar attempting to steal second base in the second inning.
Meanwhile, the Pirates brought out the big sticks.
Deibel scored the first Pirate run when he homered the first pitch of the third inning to the deepest part of center field.
In the fifth, sophomore Matt Amick welcomed a Cougar reliever to the game by lofting his first pitch for a solo homer down the left field line.
Timely hitting by other Pirates, including seniors Justin Calhoun and Chris Allman, along with two additional hits by Deibel, kept Pirate runners circling the base-paths.
The tables were turned on the Pirates by Seattle Christian.
The Warriors came with hot bats and timely hitting, extracting revenge for a loss to the Pirates at their home field earlier this season.
Allman started on the mound for the Pirates. He kept the Warriors off balance for the first four innings with his three-quarter arm delivery of fast sinkers, 10-4 curve balls and change-ups. Pirate defense backed him up, highlighted by a long chase and diving grab of a shallow right field fly by Amick in the third. By the bottom of the fifth, the teams were tied at 1-1.
But Allman pitched himself into jam in the fifth, eventually giving up three more runs before being relieved by Amick in his Pirate varsity pitching debut. By the end of the fifth, the Pirates were down 10-1.
Sophomore Wes Paulson finished out the final two innings on the mound for the Pirates. He showed good control with off-speed pitches and a wicked 12-6 curve ball which the Warrior hitters could not find.
Offensively, the Pirates scattered eight hits over the course of the game (versus six for the Warriors). But apart from a solo lead-off home run by junior Chris Pieterick in the first and a too-late one-run rally in the seventh, the Pirates did not hit well with runners in scoring position.
“That was just a good old-fashioned butt-kickin’,” said Pirate coach Steve Hall of the effort. “They took advantage of our walks and made us pay for them. That is what we’d done against Cascade (Christian) a couple of days before.”
While he is pleased with his defense, Hall said he remains concerned about the Pirates’ bats, especially the tendency to let first pitches by for strikes.
“Those are usually the best pitches they will see,” he said. “Once they’ve got you behind in the count, they bring out the junk.”
But he sees some promise. “Allman’s been very consistent all year. And I’m pleased to be seeing Justin (Calhoun) and Shoey (Schumaker) swinging the bat better these past few games. We sure will need them over the next couple of weeks.”