Good teams overcome in-game problems by taking advantage of opportunities. Such was the case for the Coupeville High School baseball team in its 8-4 win at South Whidbey Monday, March 17, in the season and conference opener.
The Wolves struggled on offense but used a good defense, a solid pitching performance by Ben Etzell and aggressive base running to flatten the Falcons.
Etzell, who threw a complete game, had only one hiccup, the third inning when South Whidbey bunched four hits for three runs.
After the third, Etzell limited the Falcons to three singles; two were infield hits.
The Falcons hung onto the lead until the fifth inning.
"Up to that point their pitcher pretty much stymied us, keeping us off balance with a lot of soft stuff coupled with some undisciplined at bats," coach Willie Smith said.
Korbin Korzan led with a walk, then back-to-back singles by Cole Payne and Josh Bayne produced a run. Kurtis Smith walked to load the bases.
Bad throws by the Falcons on grounders by Jake Tumblin and Morgan Payne kept the inning going and allowed the Wolves to take a 5-3 lead.
Coupeville put the game away in the seventh with two walks and RBI singles by Etzell and Aaron Curtin.
"This was a good game for us," coach Smith said. "Not only for the win over South Whidbey, but because we were able to come back to win it on their home field and with us not really hitting on all cylinders offensively. We will definitely need to do a better job of adjusting at the plate, but we did a great job of taking advantage of some miscues and capitalized on our speed and some timely hits."
The two teams meet again in Coupeville at 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 19, and finish their three-game series back in Langley Friday, March 21.