Offense struggles then miscues haunted the Coupeville High School baseball team in its season-opening double header at Lakewood Friday, March 15.
In the first game, the Wolves collected only two hits in a 6-3 loss, then in the second game let a 5-2 lead slip away with four late unearned runs in the 6-5 loss to the Cougars, one of the Cascade Conference preseason favorites.
In game one, Ben Etzell pitched well into the third but “started to get the ball up,” according to coach Willie Smith, when the Cougars collected four consecutive hits to score five runs to go up 5-1.
Wade Schaef took over on the mound in the fourth and surrendered only one run over three innings.
Schaef singled for one of Coupeville’s hits and Korbin Korzan doubled.
Lakewood errors helped the Wolves tally two runs.
Smith said, “Defensively we were pretty solid, although we did have a misplayed fly ball in the third that would have helped us. Overall, we ran the bases well and I was pleased with the pitching and defense.”
The offense picked up in the second game, but the defense struggled.
Coupeville led 5-2 in the fifth before giving up the four unearned runs.
Morgan Payne sparked the offense with two hits, a double and two RBI. Four others rapped hits, led by Drew Chan’s double.
Smith said, “Aaron Curtin pitched very well in the loss, giving up just two earned runs while combining with Aaron Trumbull (entered in the fifth) to check their bats to four hits.”
Smith said his team did “a lot of good things” but needs to limit opponents from having big innings.
“The things we need to fix are very fixable,” Smith said, “and it was very encouraging for us to hit the ball like we did in game two and get the pitching performances we did.”
The Wolves now play at 1 p.m. the next two Saturdays in nonleague games, hosting Nooksack Valley March 16 and Port Townsend March 23.