SPORTS: Port Angeles beats rival Sequim 12-2 at bi-district baseball tournament

BREMERTON — The third time was the charm for the Port Angeles baseball team.

The Roughriders blasted archrival Sequim 12-2 in the first round of the double-elimination Class 2A West Central and Sea-King bi-district tournament Tuesday at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds.

No. 11-seeded Port Angeles advances to play No. 3-seeded Interlake of Bellevue today in the second round at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds at 4 p.m.

Interlake had a first-round bye Tuesday.

No. 6 Sequim, meanwhile, now is in loser-out mode and will play in the consolation second round Saturday against the today’s loser between No. 4 Franklin Pierce and either Kingston or Eatonville.

The Sequim game is set for 11 a.m. at Foss High School in Tacoma.

It was the third time the two rivals have played this year with Port Angeles taking the rubber match and winning the series 2-1.

Sequim won the first game 12-10 in a sloppy, muddy walkfest on April 14, and then the Riders won a 4-0 gem behind the pitching of A.J. Konopaski a week ago Tuesday to earn a district playoff spot.

It was all Riders on Tuesday with Konopaski pitching another gem and the Port Angeles bats coming alive big time.

There’s one word that describes why the Riders have turned into gangbusters at the end of the season, said coach Bob Withrow.

That one word is health.

“We’re finally healthy,” Withrow said. “We were the walking wounded for most of the season but now we’re OK.”

Plus Withrow “babied” his pitching staff early in the season.

“We didn’t let them pitch too many innings at first,” he said.

“Now they’re able to give us 100 pitches a game.”

Konopaski (4-0) threw 95 pitches Tuesday while going the seven-inning distance, giving up just five hits and the two early runs while striking out five.

“A.J. pitched a real good game again and we hit the ball real well,” Withrow said.

Port Angeles, the visiting team, scored once in the top of the first but the Wolves took the lead with two runs in the bottom of the first.

Drew Rickerson led off with a triple and scored on Tyler Campbell’s double. Campbell also scored in the inning.

But that would be it for the Wolves as the Riders scored three in the third to take the lead for good and then broke the game open with five runs in the sixth.

Kyler Morgan went 3-for-3 for Port Angeles with a double, three runs scored, a stolen base and a sacrifice bunt.

Cody Sullivan and Easton Napiontek also were perfect at the plate at 3-for-3 each with Napiontek scoring two runs and knocking in three.

Sullivan had a double with an RBI and two runs scored.

The two rivals were surprised to end up facing each other at the bi-district meet.

Seeding games were rained out last weekend and district officials seeded teams by a predetermined power ranking, Withrow said.

He said he was surprised by some of the teams ranked higher than the Riders.

“We were either going to play Kingston or Sequim, and we were ready to play either team,” Withrow said.

Bi-district first round
Port Angeles 12, Sequim 2

Port Angeles 1 0 3 0 1 5 2 ­— 12 16 1

Sequim 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 2 5 1

WP- Konopaski (4-0); LP- Rickerson

Pitching Statistics

Port Angeles: Konopaski 7IP, 5K, 2BB, 5H, 2R.

Sequim: Rickerson 3IP, 4R, 5H; Hudson 2.1 IP, 6R, 2K; Johnston .2 IP, 0R; Yamamoto 1IP 2R, 3H, 1K, 1BB.

Hitting Statistics

Port Angeles: Crain 2-4, 3R, HBP; Morgan 3-3, 3R, 2B, SB, Sac bunt; Sullivan 3-3, 2B, 2R, RBI; Napiontek 3-3, 3RBI, 2R.

Sequim: Rickerson, 3B, R; Campbell, 2B, R.

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