MATT SCHUBERT’S PREP NOTES: Mound Everest helps Sequim baseball team; other prep news

BASEBALL FIELDS ARE often unique.

As one of the few games that allows for undefined dimensions, the sport lends itself to creative landscaping.

And if there’s any way to tailor a diamond to favor the home team’s tastes, groundskeepers have few qualms making alterations.

Want to make your field accessible for right-handed power hitters? Give them a short porch in left field.

Have a team loaded with speed? Let the infield grass thicken up or maybe give your bunters a slight bank down the baselines.

Of course, there are a few spots on the diamond that require precise specifications.

The distance between the bases, for example, is the same wherever you go — 90 feet. The same goes for the length from the rubber to home plate (60 feet, 6 inches).

The height of the pitcher’s mound is also set in stone (10½ inches) . . . except that measurement is compared with the surface level of home plate.

So whenever a field has a slight uphill grade between the mound and home, you have the potential for something like Sequim’s Mound Everest.

The Wolves’ varsity pitcher’s mound is a visual freak show.

As Port Angeles head coach Bob Withrow said following his team’s walk-filled 12-10 loss in rainy Sequim last Thursday, “There’s an elephant on the field.”

There’s little doubt that it’s unusually high (my guess: at least two feet tall from its base), and a daunting test for visiting pitchers.

But because of a slight incline between it and home plate, it’s also legal.

Or at least that’s what was believed before Wolves coach Dave Ditlefsen actually went out and measured it with a laser level.

His findings: It’s actually a half inch too short.

“There’s that much of a slope with our field,” said Ditlefsen.

So is it a possible advantage for the hometown Wolves? Perhaps.

The field is notorious for excessive walk totals.

Thursday’s game between the Riders and Wolves had 28 free passes, and a 2009 PA-Sequim meeting had 22.

But Sequim pitchers have been known to struggle on it as well.

“It’s the first thing that people see when they step off bus,” Ditlefsen said.

“I don’t doubt that [it’s an advantage], just because our kids aren’t freaked out by it. They are used to it.

“But that’s not why it’s there. That’s just the way it needs to be to be legal.”

Communication 
breakdown

A funny thing happened to the Sequim boys soccer team on its way to a scheduled road match last week.

It drove past the team it was supposed to be playing . . . which was headed in the opposite direction.

In a bizarre twist, both Sequim and North Mason thought it was the road teams in last Wednesday’s Olympic League boys soccer game.

Thus, each showed up to an empty field following identical 90-minute drives to its opponents’ home turf.

On the way back home, they got to wave to each other from their buses.

“It’s been a strange year,” Sequim coach Dave Brasher said.

The Wolves’ road match — yes, they were actually the visiting team — has been rescheduled for April 25 in Belfair.

Only one bus required.

Family name

I don’t think I’ve gone through a single sports season in my six years on the Peninsula without typing the name “Konopaski” at least once.

Chimacum has its Eldridges and Neah Bay its Johnsons. Port Angeles, it seems, is the land of the Konopaskis.

That surname is simply ubiquitous in Roughrider sports. And this season is no different.

Exhibit A: The Port Angeles baseball team.

The Roughriders fielded three Konopaskis — brothers A.J., Marcus and Michael — during last week’s loss to North Kitsap and carry two on the full-time varsity roster.

The year before? A.J. pitched to since-graduated cousin, catcher Augie Konopaski, throughout the season to form an All-Konopaski battery.

As one might expect, they racked up a lot of K’s together.

Quick hits

■ The Chimacum baseball team maintained its perch atop the Class 1A state rankings for the third straight week.

The Cowboys’ lone loss this year is to first-place Olympic League opponent North Kitsap.

Complete rankings are listed on Page B3.

■ Port Angeles thrower Troy Martin’s showing in the discus last weekend at the Eason Invitational now has him with the top marks in three events in Class 2A.

He is the leader in the discus (164 feet, 3 inches), shot put (52-7¾) and hammer throw (136-10), according to athletic.net.

While the discus and shot put are both WIAA-sanctioned events, the hammer is not.

■ Crescent’s Dylan Christie is the 1B leader in the 200-meter dash (24.17 seconds), according to athletic.net.

He is also No. 2 in the triple jump (39-4) and one inch off the 1B leader.

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