Community Sports

Sports Beat | Tides soccer shuts out Seahawks

Posted on April 11th, 2024 By:

The Gig Harbor soccer team beat their crosstown rivals from Peninsula 3-0 in a commanding performance at Roy Anderson Field on April 4. Both teams played hard and showed off advanced footwork to cap off a rivalry week that exhibited excellent sportsmanship in contests involving five sports.

Gig Harbor’s quick-striking forwards came at the Peninsula goal in waves. But the large and physical Seahawks stuffed many of those efforts as first-year Seahawk coach Neil Chai continually shouted “well done” to his back-line defenders.

The Tides got their first goal on a penalty kick from Tyler Dull, who bent the ball over a wall of Seahawk defenders. The ball slipped through the hands of the Peninsula goalie.

The Tides controlled and shared the ball. Lightning-quick forward Jack Learned drew in defenders with a long run up the right sideline before delivering a beautiful 30-yard pass to a streaking Dull. Dull, who is anything but, took two dribbles before firing a left-footed beauty from a flat angle that found the far side of the net for a 2-0 lead.

Tyler Dull scored two goals in Gig Harbor’s win over Peninsula. Photo by Bryce Carithers

“I got a great ball from Jack who played me through, he kept everyone too far over to one side and I just slotted it for the goal,” Dull said.

Team soccer

The effort was especially pleasing to Tide coach Joe Ross, whose most important job year after year seems to be convincing talented scorers to trust their teammates instead of trying to do too much individually. Playing together is key for the Tides, Ross said.

“We’re not very good when we don’t share the ball, but when we play unselfish soccer like we did tonight, we have the capability to be very, very good,” he said.

The Tides scored their final goal by executing a sophisticated play that resembled a basketball set. Crossing players forced Peninsula defenders out wide, allowing Gig Harbor an opening down the middle. Lucas Maharry blasted a kick past the Seahawk goalie to take a 3-0 lead.

The Tides then packed it in to preserve a shutout by their physical defense and goalie Trey Crosby.

Gig Harbor goalie Trey Crosby got the shutout in the win over Peninsula. Photo by Bryce Carithers

Peninsula lost 7-1 to conference unbeaten Central Kitsap on April 9 but can still climb into a fourth-place tie with a home win versus North Thurston at 7 p.m. April 11 at Roy Anderson Field.

The Tide kept rolling as they easily defeated Yelm, 5-0, on April 9. They should have little trouble with River Ridge at 7 p.m. April 11 at home.

League title still in play

They will be looking forward to next week when they play two teams, Central Kitsap and Timberline, that are ahead of them in the conference standings. Central Kitsap is up first at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, at Roy Anderson.

“We’re still figuring things out but I do think we have a great shot to catch them if we continue to play like we did tonight,” said Dull, a senior forward who was voted All-South Sound Conference last season.

If the Tides win twice next week and Timberline knocks off CK, Gig Harbor could earn a tie for the SSC crown.

Tides baseball rallies at Cheney Stadium

Gig Harbor (10-6, 6-2 South Sound Conference) pulled off a stunning 7-4 comeback win versus South Kitsap in a nonleague game played at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma on April 6.

The Tides’ Cole Krilich did something not many high schoolers have ever done: He smashed a home run over the Tacoma Rainiers’ left-field fence. Krilich, who looks like he lifts weights when he’s sleeping, tied the game at 4 with the fifth-inning blast that showed just how skilled (.375 batting average) and powerful he is.

The Tides scored three more runs to win in the following innings. Six Gig Harbor pitchers threw an inning each to tame the Wolves.

The Tides returned to league action with a 3-0 win over Timberline on April 9 at Sehmel Field. Riley Westfall — who has a 2.10 ERA on the season — threw six shutout innings before reliever J.T. Grande mowed down three Blazers batters.

Riley Westfall delivers a pitch in Gig Harbor’s win over Timberline. Photo by Bryce Carithers

Small ball offense

Gig Harbor played a fine game of small ball to manufacture runs in the middle innings by laying down precise bunts, drawing walks and stealing bases. The Tides also executed a perfect suicide squeeze.

The Tides’ defense was lights-out against the Blazers as well. They turned several difficult double plays and got a timely diving catch by Cooper McCutcheon in left field in a play that Ken Griffey Jr. would have been proud of. McCutcheon’s catch was fantastic but it wasn’t even the play of the game.

That came in the fifth inning, with Timberline threatening with runners at second and third and only one out. Westfall delivered a fastball that a Blazer blasted to third baseman Ryland Heckman, who looked a speedy runner back to third. When Heckman fired a rocket to first baseman Ethan Mar, the runner broke for home.

Elite defense

Mar caught it for one out and then threw a dot to catcher Nick Lang, who applied a perfect tag for an inning-ending double play as Westfall yelled, “Let’s Goooo!”

“It’s great to know you have a defense like that behind you so you can pitch to contact and get away with a few things,” Westfall said. “One to seven, our pitching staff is very solid and on offense we have guys that know how to do their job. They (teammates) can all hit and just look at those bunts today. We’re a small-ball team that can manufacture runs … it’s working for us.”

Freshman phenom Zach Smith leads Gig Harbor in batting with a .429 average. Other top hitters include Krilich (.375), McCutcheon (.348), Mar (.333), second baseman Wesley Bonnici (.316) and Daniel Porras (.312 with a team-leading 14 RBI).

The Tides lost a rematch against Timberline 3-2 on April 10.

The Tides play Capital twice next week, in Olympia on April 15 and at Sehmel Park at 4 p.m. April 16.

Peninsula baseball sweeps North Thurston

Across town another team is playing fine baseball, too. The Peninsula Seahawks (7-4, 5-3) are in third place in the South Sound Conference behind league leaders Gig Harbor and Capital.

Peninsula took care of business this week with two wins over North Thurston — 3-2 on April 9 in Lacey and 5-3 on April 10 at Sehmel Park.

In the last game, both teams scored three runs in the first inning after a lot of walks and hit batsmen. Peninsula head coach Matt Thomas inserted relief pitcher Hayden Bundy, who hasn’t allowed an earned run in 10 innings. Bundy started off the second inning and the Rams never scored again.

Peninsula pitcher Hayden Bundy didn’t allow a run in a win over North Thurston. Photo by Bryce Carithers

Bundy had trouble locating the strike zone early, walking a couple Rams. But he stayed calm and got a strikeout and a pop-up to get to two outs. The Seahawks got the third out when first baseman Matthew Sleeter fielded a hot shot and dove back to first base, barely beating the runner to get out of the inning.

It was more of the same in the third for Bundy, who gave up a hit and a walk but remained poised. He kept his pitches low to earn a strikeout for the second out and then forced a pop up to Johnathan Vergara-Dykes.

“I just remind myself to concentrate on the next batter and not really the guys on base,” Bundy said. “I was thinking, ‘Keep the ball low and get a double play to end the inning.’ I am a pitcher, pressure comes with the position but I love it. It gives me a chance to show what I can do.”

Bundy had a 1-2-3 fourth inning and escaped the fifth with two out and two on when left fielder Matthew Saunders made a run-saving catch.

Game-winning rally

With the score still tied at 3 in the bottom of the fifth, two Peninsula batters drew walks. Vergara-Dykes drove a pitch past second base for a hit. Bundy and Kaleb Copeland — who were running on the play — scored to give the Seahawks a 5-3 lead.

Copeland took over on the mound and didn’t allow the Rams to threaten in the sixth inning. North Thurston put runners on second and third base in the seventh inning, but Copeland fired a cut fastball for a called third strike to end the game.

Peninsula’s leading hitters this season are Saunders (.517 with 8 RBI), Sleeter (.424 with 7 RBI), Pete Browand (.364 with 6 RBI) and Michael Tellez (.324 with 4 RBI).

“The season is going pretty well so far,” Thomas said. “We lost a couple of games that maybe we shouldn’t have, but the team is starting to find its groove and learning how to win.”

Peninsula stayed within a game and a half of conference-leading Capital. They are only a game behind Gig Harbor.

The Seahawks take a break from conference play and head south to take on Prairie and La Center, both from Clark County, on April 12 and 13. They face River Ridge for a two-game set next week.

Tides golf knocks off Bellarmine

The Gig Harbor golf team stayed undefeated following a huge win over Bellarmine at Fircrest Golf Club on April 8.

It was the premier matchup of the season for the Tides and it didn’t disappoint. After 767 total strokes, the Tides won by only three strokes — 382-385. Every golfer shot 80 or lower.

Tide senior Chet West laid down a 2-over-par 73 despite windy and rainy conditions. Sophomore Theo Synder shot a 4-over 75 while junior Timmy Quirk posted a smooth 75. Rylan Coovert shot a 79 and Liam Dalbec an 80.

The Tides will now turn their attention to completing an undefeated league season. They will have to beat league-leading Capital and Peninsula, who they will face in early May.

The Peninsula golf is 3-1 in conference with wins over Timberline, Yelm and River Ridge and a loss to the always tough Capital Cougars.

The Seahawks’ varsity players are Luke Lipsey, Tyler Ahrens, Christian Callan, Ellis Anderson, Joaquin Jackson, Carson Zimmerman, Gavin Sheets, Mac Tovey, Tyler Traugutt, Scott Raymond and Brenden Field.

PHS girls second at big track meet

The Peninsula girls track team brought home second place (first among Class 3A teams) from the Arnie Young Invitational on April 6 in Renton.

They say that big things come in small packages and that is certainly true with the Seahawks discus thrower Suri Sardinia, who is not nearly as big as some of her competitors. But the discus is often about speed and technique instead of brute force and power.

Sardinia uncorked a throw of 116 feet, 5 inches that won the event by an impressive 10 feet and ranks first in the South Sound Conference this year. The effort is also the seventh in the state this season and the seventh best in PHS history and she is only a sophomore.

Suri Sardinia of Peninsula stands on the winers podium after her discus throw at the Arnie Young Invitational in Renton. Photo courtesy Peninsula High track and field

Other locals winning events in the 23-team field were:

Gig Harbor: Johnathon Miles in the 1,600 meters; Kate Jones in the 400 meters; the boys 4×400 meter relay team (Matthew Ehler, Christian Keck, Miles and Ayden Fink); and the girls 4×400 meter relay team (Danica Olsen, Sofia Simmonds, Kate Jones, and Maura Lenzi).

Peninsula: Electra Higgins in the 800 meters and the 3,200 meters; Grace Holtzclaw in the javelin; and  Emma Young in the high jump.

Sprinters from Gig Harbor and Peninsula head to the finish line. Photo by Bryce Carithers