After a lackluster performance at Granite Falls Monday, April 15, the Coupeville High School baseball team put in a pair of spirited efforts at home Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Wolves gave first-place Archbishop Murphy a scare before falling 8-4 Tuesday, then behind a strong defense and Aaron Curtin's pitching, defeated Granite Falls 5-2 Wednesday.
Archbishop Murphy (13-0, 14-1) 10-runned Coupeville twice last week, but the Wolves hung with the Wildcats this time around.
Murphy scored two in the first, and after Monday's 8-0 disaster at Granite Falls, it looked like the Wolves might be in for another long day. No so, as Coupeville scored two in the bottom of the first and another in the third to take a 3-2 lead.
In the first, singles by Drew Chan, Jake Tumblin and Curtin produced the two runs. In the second, Kyle Bodamer reached on an error, Korbin Korzan bunted for a base hit and then Bodamer scored when Murphy committed an error on Wade Schaef's bunt.
Archbishop Murphy scored four in the third on two hits, two walks and an error.
Coupeville made it 6-4 with a run in its half of the third. Tumblin was hit by a pitch, stole second and scored on Curtin's single.
It remained a two-run game until the seventh when the Wildcats tacked on two more on three hits and a walk.
Coupeville kept the pressure on in the seventh, loading the bases with no outs. A pop out and double play ended the threat.
Coach Willie Smith said, "The difference between today and Monday is we got beat; we did not beat ourselves."
Chan, Tumblin, Curtin and Morgan Payne each had two hits for the Wolves.
Aaron Trumbull, followed by Schaef in the sixth, threw for Coupeville.
In Wednesday's win over Granite Falls, Curtin pitched a complete game, struck out seven, walked only one and pitched out of several jams.
Smith said, "He did a great job of managing the game and we had some big plays behind him."
One of the plays helped Curtin get out of a bases-loaded mess. Payne backhanded a ball at shortstop, threw to third baseman Ben Etzell for one out, then Etzell threw to Chan at second for another.
Later, with runners at first and third, Curtin picked off the runner at first, who got into a rundown. During the pickle, Chan fired to third to nail the straying lead runner.
An RBI single by Payne in the first and a sacrifice fly by Korzan in the second lifted Coupeville to a 2-0 lead.
The Tigers (4-9, 4-11) scored twice in the fifth to tie it, then Coupeville answered with three runs in the bottom half.
Etzell, who missed the passed few games with a knee injury, hit a hustle double down the third base line and Payne walked. With two out, Curtin doubled to plate the pair. Bodamer lined a double to score Josh Bayne, who was running for Curtin.
Coupeville (5-9, 6-9) goes to Granite Falls at 4 p.m. Friday, April 19, to complete the three-game series.