PORT ANGELES — A young Port Angeles Roughriders team has improved during the season, but it found out it still has a ways to go to stay with No. 3-ranked North Kitsap.
North Kitsap’s Kenneth Johnson allowed just a lone single over the final five innings in a 9-0 complete-game shutout over the Riders at Civic Field.
Even when Port Angeles did manage to get runners on base, its rallies were snuffed out quickly by a pair of double plays in the fourth and sixth innings.
“He [Johnson] was around the strike zone and we struggled offensively,” said coach Casey Dietz.
North Kitsap is 13-2 and leading the 2A teams in the Olympic League. The Riders can take some solace in knowing that they knocked off both North Kitsap and 3A Bainbridge, the top team in the Olympic League, earlier in the season. That included an 8-6 win over Bainbridge just this weekend. They are also still at 5-5 in league with a shot at postseason.
Dietz said that, after the game, he told the players they had to put the game in the past.
“We can’t have a long memory. We’ll have an opportunity again [Thursday],” he said.
The Vikings showed their No. 3 Class 2A RPI ranking is for real as they were also solid on defense with third baseman Noah Sorenson and shortstop Cole Edwards making a number of good plays.
“Defensively, they played well. We gave them opportunities to make double plays and they turned them,” Dietz said.
Sohlberg makes debut
One huge bright spot in the loss for the Roughriders was the varsity debut of Blake Sohlberg.
Sohlberg came in to pitch in the fourth inning with the Vikings up 7-0 and held them scoreless for three innings to give Port Angeles a chance to get back in the game. He allowed just a lone single, no walks and struck out three. He retired the final eight batters he faced and had three-up, three-down innings in the fifth and sixth innings.
“He threw really well. We’re excited for him,” Dietz said.
The Riders (5-5, 7-8) will look to bounce back in a game today at Kingston (4-7, 4-7). Results of that game were after press deadline. Port Angeles plays again at rival Sequim (1-10, 2-13) at 4:15 p.m. Monday.
Sports Editor Pierre LaBossiere can be contacted at [email protected] news.com.