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Americans seeded second into State
CHEHALIS — The North Kitsap Americans baseball team is on its way to the state tournament.
The American Legion baseball team, coached by Jon O’Connor, seeded second into the tournament after finishing 2-1 in the district tournament.
The team defeated host team W.F. West (7-2) and Gig Harbor (19-4) to play Montesano in the finals. The Americans ended up losing 10-1.
“They were probably one of the best teams we’ve seen all summer,” O’Connor said following the tournament, which began July 21.
The Americans will travel to Anacortes Saturday to play Bellingham in the first game.
Though Bellingham earned the third seed at Districts to advance to State, the team won its division, going 14-2 in the regular season.
The Americans should be ready. With a week of rest the team, now 27-8 overall, is looking for a state title win in its first season.
During the team’s first game against W.F. West at Districts, AJ Milyard had complete control as the pitcher, striking out 10, O’Connor said. The team scored seven runs in the second inning — with two outs against them. Ben Tamm, Ethan Syverson, Brian Bratlien, Kolby Scherier, TJ Jensen, Will Ekin, Sheldon Parris and Milyard all had base hits.
Tamm struck out nine against Gig Harbor, who the Americans lost to in Districts to share the title. The Americans earned 15 hits for 19 runs in five innings.
Ekin had a triple, double and single and three RBIs. Milyard and Tamm also had three RBIs.
The game against Gig Harbor, O’Connor said, was one of the best offensive displays the Americans have shown. And with a bad taste in their mouths from losing at Districts, the 19-4 score sweetened the victory.
The loss against Montesano could mostly be credited to the team’s pitching. O’Connor said Montesano saved their top pitcher for the championship game who “delivered a gem.” Montesano, he said, is a team he expects to do well at State.
The Americans begin their state run against Bellingham at 3 p.m.
The Americans took second place in their Memorial Day Bash Tournament, first place in their Summer Classic Tournament and second place in the area district tournament, which earned the team the second seed into the Washington State AA American Legion Tournament.
Watch it live
The American Legion State tournaments will be broadcast live. Visit www.wa-alb.com and click on the AA State Webcast to watch the North Kitsap Americans play. First game is 3 p.m.