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Speed helps Wolves rally for win | Baseball
One of the Coupeville High School baseball team's strongest attributes is its speed, and that speed flustered visiting Lakewood into numerous mistakes as the Wolves rallied for three last-inning runs to defeat the Cougars 6-5 Friday, April 18.
"Our speed on the bases was a major contributor to forcing them into six errors and creating the majority of our runs," said coach Willie Smith.
Trailing 5-3 entering its final at bat, Coupeville started its winning rally when C.J. Smith reached on an error and Josh Bayne walked. Jake Tumblin beat out a bunt for a base hit and the late throw to first sailed by the first baseman, allowing both runners to score and putting Tumblin at third.
Next came the one time Coupeville's speed came up short. Tumblin attempted to steal home on the catcher's toss back to the pitcher and was tagged out.
Wade Schaef re-ignited the rally with a walk. Ben Etzell singled and Aaron Trumbull reached on an error to load the bases. After the second out, Aaron Curtin, who didn't start because of an injury but was forced into action when a teammate was hurt during the game, won it with a line-shot single.
Lakewood began the game with a first-inning run, then Coupeville scored two in its half of the inning.
Tumblin was hit by a pitch and bunted to second by Schaef. He scored when the Lakewood third baseman was hurried into a throwing error by a hustling Etzell, who hit a grounder. Etzell eventually scored on another error.
Lakewood tied it with a run in the third, and Coupeville regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Trumbull singled, went to second on Kurtis Smith's bunt and scored on an error off the bat of Korbin Korzan.
Lakewood added two runs in the fifth and one in the seventh to set up Coupeville's big comeback.
"A lot of huge performances today beginning with sophomore C.J. Smith," coach Smith said.
C.J. Smith threw a complete game four-hitter, striking out six and giving up only two earned runs.
"He was, as usual, cool as a cucumber on the mound, mixing up pitches and keeping their hitters off balance," coach Smith said.
While the Wolves's speed haunted Lakewood, Coupeville catcher Cole Payne kept the Cougar running game in check by throwing out four attempting to steal.
Coupeville finished with five hits, two by Etzell, and forced six Lakewood errors.
The Wolves had three errors which led to three unearned runs, but "we really played some solid defense at big times throughout the game," Smith said.
The third game in the series was rained out for the third time Saturday and will be played at 4 p.m. in Lakewood (3-10, 3-11) Thursday, April 24.
Coupeville (5-6, 6-6) will have a busy week, also playing Granite Falls (7-4, 8-5) three times. At 4 p.m. Monday, April 21, and Friday, April 25, they face off in Coupeville.
The week will test Coupeville's depth. Curtin, one of its starting pitchers and regular fielders, is out with a shoulder injury. He entered Friday's game out of necessity when Korzan was injured.
Starting shortstop Morgan Payne broke a bone in his hand in practice last week and is out for the season.
Tumblin, the starting catcher, is limited to the designated hitter role because of an injury to his throwing hand.