Falcons lose two in a row as league action begins

Falcon Mick Poynter makes it to home plate on a hit by Lucas Yale during South Whidbey’s 6-4 loss to Sultan in the first-of-three series with the Sultan Turks.

LANGLEY — After winning their first game against Nathan Hale, the South Whidbey baseball team stumbled during its next two outings.

On March 13 they lost 5-3 to Interlake, then 6-4 this week to the Sultan Turks. The Falcons are now 0-1 in the Cascade Conference and 1-2 overall.

It’s a somewhat sluggish start for a team that finished the 2007 campaign at 12-8 in the league and advanced to the district playoffs.

But the season has barely begun, however, and the team expects to beat Sultan in the rematch Wednesday and home on Friday of this week.

“We really played well in both games, especially on defense in the infield,” Falcon first baseman Trapper Rawls said. “We’re just not getting the hits.”

Against the Saints from Interlake High School in Bellevue, both teams started with runs in the first inning.

Nick Tenuta led off the game being hit by a pitch and was followed by Eric Sparks who also got bumped for a trip to first. After a wild pitch moved both runners up a base, Lucus Yale then scored Tenuta on a ground ball to shortstop.

The next Falcon runs came in the third inning. Robert Kirby led off with a single to left and was followed by a Tenuta home run blast over the left field fence, his second homer in two games and his sixth RBI in two contests.

Falcon pitchers Luke Hodson and CJ Baker turned in very good outings but seemed to get into trouble by the base on balls.

In the Saints’ third inning, Interlake High picked up three runs without the aid of a hit. Four walks and an error came back to haunt the Falcons along with an error.

Pitcher Adam Babcock went the distance against the Turks on Monday, but Sultan’s bats spoke with authority, banging out three runs in the first inning.

“Our guys were their own worst enemies in the first inning as they committed four miscues behind Adam Babcock’s fine effort on the mound,” Falcon coach Dave Guetlin said. “The Turks plated four runs with the aid of only two hits in the inning.”

After the first inning Babcock only allowed four Turks to reach base the rest of the game, walking only one hitter while striking out four.

Despite Sultan’s lead, Babcock appeared relaxed, showing no hint of nervousness. It didn’t hurt that he was backed by a solid heads-up performance from the infield.

In the second inning the Falcons told the Turks they were still in the game as they picked up three runs of their own. Hodson started it off with a one-out single to center, then stole second. He was followed by an Aaron Mannie walk.

Babcock complemented his performance on the mound by driving a ball down the right field line scoring both runners. Robert Boenish then scored while running for Babcock on a Rawls sharp single to left field.

In the final inning, Robert Kirby led off with his first high school extra base hit, a sharp line drive double to left center field. Kirby eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Eric Sparks.

“Defensively, the Falcons were led by Yale’s diving catch, saving an extra base hit,” Guetlin said. “Freshman Kirby also turned in another fine game at shortstop.”

Rawls added that the guys understood it wasn’t their game.

“But we have some seriously good talent at every position and we will contend in every game,” he said.

Today, the boys travel to Sultan. At 4 p.m. Friday, March 21, the boys play the Turks at home.

Jeff VanDerford can be reached at 221-5300 or sports@south