Sports and Schools

Etzell fans 15 but Wolves fall 1-0 | Baseball

Kurtis Smith steals second in the loss to Cedarcrest Monday. - Jim Waller / Whidbey Examiner
Kurtis Smith steals second in the loss to Cedarcrest Monday.
— image credit: Jim Waller / Whidbey Examiner

Wasting a brilliant pitching performance by Ben Etzell, the Coupeville High School baseball team lost 1-0 in nine innings to visiting Cedarcrest Monday, April 7.

Offensive woes continue to haunt the Wolves who have dropped five consecutive conference games and scored only one run in the past four.

Etzell, who was lifted by coach Willie Smith after eight innings and more than 100 pitches, struck out 15 and scattered five hits and five walks.

A pair of Cedarcrest pitchers, Nick Bowersock and Andrew Willmon (who entered in the sixth), were nearly as impressive, combining for 12 strikes and seven hits over the nine innings.

Cedarcrest placed its leadoff runner on in seven of the nine innings and had runners on first and second with no outs in the first and third. Etzell, however, didn't allow a Red Wolf to reach third base.

Cedarcrest finally broke through against reliever Wade Schaef in the ninth. A walk, double and sacrifice fly scored the game's only run.

Cole Payne stroked a two-out single and moved to second on an error in the bottom of the ninth, but a ground out ended the game.

Coupeville's best chance to score came in the sixth when a base-running mistake may have cost a run. Its leadoff hitter singled but was picked off first. Schaef followed with a single, Etzell was hit by a pitch and Jake Tumblin singled to load the bases. Two strikeouts ended the threat.

Aaron Trumbull had two hits for Coupeville. Morgan Payne, Cole Payne, Tumblin, Schaef and Kurtis Smith all singled.

Etzell was hit by a pitch three times.

With the Coupeville's offensive struggles, coach Smith said, "I feel like Eric Wedge (former Seattle Mariners' manager). Our offense is anemic, so our pitchers have to be perfect.

"I am very disappointed in our at bats; we don't adjust very well."

Coupeville (2-5, 3-5) gets another shot at the Red Wolves (7-2, 7-2) when the teams meet in Duvall at 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 9. The series concludes in Coupeville at 4 p.m. Friday, April 11.

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