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Kentridge comes up short in regional final | Prep baseball
Isaiah Terry had difficulty coping with the sorrow of a stinging, season-ending loss.
He and his teammates had gone far, so far, in the last three seasons. Few Kentridge baseball teams have achieved so much during a succession of state-bound springs on the diamond.
Suddenly, it ended Saturday – the Chargers on the short end of a 2-1 loss to South Kitsap in a 4A state regional final at Kent Memorial Park.
For a senior-laden team, it was a tough way to go out.
"I've been playing with these guys since I was 9," an emotional Terry said after the loss. "We've been through so much together. ... It's probably the last time we will play together. ... It's tough, it's frustrating."
Kentridge, trying to return to the final four in Pasco for the second straight May, could muster only three hits off the Wolves' Cooper Canton. The Chargers left the tying run stranded on second in the final inning.
Kentridge finished the season 19-9, including a South Puget Sound League North Division title. It was the Chargers' third straight trip to the state playoffs.
The Chargers took care of Eastlake, 7-1, earlier Saturday to reach the final eight.
South Kitsap (21-5), the state runner-up last year, draws Wenatchee (18-7) in the semifinals this Friday at GESA Stadium in Pasco.
The Chargers will lose a bulk of their team, including powerful first baseman Joe Wainhouse, who signed with Mississippi but may be a high selection in the coming amateur draft.
Reloading is something Kentridge coach John Flanigan is good at. His program is consistently strong.
"Great bunch of guys," he said of his team. "They gave it everything."
As did starting pitcher Danny Torlai, who threw five shutout innings, six in all, and scattered seven hits. His only mistake, a fastball that Mac McCarthy carried over the left-center field fence, a two-run shot that gave the Wolves a 2-1 lead in the fifth.
The Chargers took a 1-0 lead in the third inning. Andrew Barrera led off with a double that zipped over the head of the shortstop. Later, with one down, Wainhouse drove in Barrera with a double down the first base line.
In the sixth, Kentridge's big bats connected, but South Kitsap denied the rally. Wainhouse jumped on the first pitch that went deep but into the glove of a striding left fielder. With two down, Terry's hard shot was caught by the third baseman.
Kentridge threatened in the seventh. Catcher Shane Stober led off with a double down the third-base line. But the Wolves' infield put an end to it, getting the three outs, handling hard-hit balls off the bats of Nick Hopson and Taylor Poffenroth and stranding Austin Gormley, the pinch runner, at second base.
"We hit the ball hard twice there in the seventh inning ... but right at 'em," Flanigan said. "Guys made plays. What are you going to do?"
In baseball, that's just how it goes sometimes.