Monthly Archives: July 2010

Pumas Begin Playoff Quest Today

The Kitsap Pumas were one of the best teams in the Premier Development League during the regular season.

Now the team has to prove it’s one of the best in the postseason.

Kitsap begins its playoff march today against Ventura County in the Western Conference playoffs. Bremerton Memorial Stadium will host a doubleheader Saturday starting at 1:30 p.m. The Portland Timbers U23s take on the Hollywood United Hitmen in the opener, while Kitsap faces defending league champion Ventura County Fusion in the second game at 5 p.m.

Saturday’s winners are back in Bremerton on Sunday for a 5 p.m. game. The victor moves on to the league semifinals.

So who is going to survive?

Pumas Open Playoffs Against Ventura County Fusion

The pairings are set for this coming weekend’s (July 31-Aug. 1) United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League Western Conference finals. (Wow, that’s a mouthful).

The Kitsap Pumas, the No. 2 team from the Northwest Division, is hosting the two-day playoffs at Bremerton Memorial Stadium. The Pumas will face the Southwest Division champs — the Ventura County Fusion. That’s an intriguing matchup because the Fusion knocked the Pumas out of the tournament in the quarterfinals a year ago in Laredo, Texas. Plus, Bremerton’s Kyle Johnson, who started for the Pumas a year ago, is now playing for Ventura.

The other game matches the unbeaten Portland Timbers U23 squad against the Hollywood Hit Men. The Hit Men, like the Pumas, are a pro team.

Here’s the schedule:
Western Conference Finals
at Bremerton Memorial Stadium

Hollywood Hitmen vs. Portland Timbers U23, 1:30 p.m.
Ventura County Fusion vs. Kitsap Pumas, 5 p.m.

Saturday winners 5 p.m.
(Winner advances to USL PDL semifinals, date, site to be determined)

Here’s the final standings for the Northwest Division:

Northwest Division
Portland    16-0-0    48
Kitsap    12-2-2    38
Tacoma    9-4-3    30
Victoria     7-6-3    24
Washington    6-8-2    20
Vancouver     4-9-3    15
Abbotsford    4-11-1    13
Yakima    4-12-0    12
Spokane     2-12-2    8

Pumas Hosting Western Conference Finals

When the 2010 Premier Development League playoffs begin next week, the Pumas will be staying right at home.
The club learned Thurday it would host the Western Conference playoffs at Bremerton Memorial Stadium July 31-Aug. 1.
Kitsap outbid several other clubs for the right to keep the team home.
“This was no small feat,” Kitsap executive director Ben Pecora said in a release. “We put together a compelling package that highlighted our area, our facilities, our on-field success and our track record of running quality events.”
There will be a double-header on July 31. Northwest Division champion Portland will face the No. 2 team from the Southwest Division at 1:30 p.m. Kitsap, which clinched second-place in the Northwest Division on Thursday with a 6-2 win over Vancouver, will face the Southwest Division champion at 5 p.m.
The winners of those two matches will play Aug. 1 at 5 p.m. The surviving team advances to the league semifinals the following weekend at a site to be determined.

Willie Talks About Lou

Updates on three South Kitsap grads in the major leagues:

* Willie Bloomquist started in right field and hit leadoff for the Kansas City Royals, 5- 2 winners over Toronto on Wednesday. Bloomquist was 1-for-4 with an RBI. He’s hitting .234. Bloomquist broke into the majors in 2002 with the Mariners. He was a September call-up and Lou Piniella was the manager. This is what Bloomquist had to say about Pineilla, who annouced that he will retire at the end of the current season:

“Baseball is going to lose a beauty,” Bloomquist said. “He’s a peach. I mean that in a good way.

“He’s old-school. He’s from that era where you respect the game, and if you don’t, you’re gonna hear about it. Pitchers need to throw strikes, hitters need to have an approach at the plate. If you don’t, you’re gonna hear about it. He’s a throwback in every sense of the word.”

Bloomquist laughed as he remembered some of Piniella’s escapades, but he couldn’t share details.

“Probably nothing I could say without getting in trouble,” Bloomquist told the Kansas City Star. “But you can read between the lines on that. He’s not afraid to speak up with the media and show his emotions.”

* Colorado pitcher Jason Hammel lost Wednesday. Florida beat Hammel and the Rockies 7-5. Hammel (7-5) pitched seven innings, and gave up six hits and five earned runs. He struck out five and walked three. This blogger said Hammel pitched better than his line showed.

* Aaron Cunningham got into the game as a pinch-hitter and went 0-2 in San Diego’s 6-4, 12-inning win over Atlanta. Cunningham’s hitting .296.

Pumas Sign Brazilian Striker Silva

The Kitsap Pumas added Warlen Junior Sousa Silva today. Silva joined the team at training on Tuesday and is eligible to play tonight at Vancouver. Kitsap can clinch a USL PDL playoff spot with a win.
Here’s the Pumas’ press release:

Bremerton, Wash. – The Kitsap Pumas today finalized the transfer of Brazilian striker Warlen Junior Sousa Silva today from fellow Northwest Division club, Yakima Reds.

The transfer will last through the remaining 2010 USL Premier Development League regular season and playoffs.

Silva, a fleet-footed, 20-year-old 5-11” striker, joined the club at training yesterday and is eligible to play in the Pumas’ match tonight at Vancouver. A Kitsap win clinches a playoff berth for the second-year club for the second-consecutive season.

“Warlen stood out in our previous matches against the Reds and we were impressed with his skill and nose for the goal,” said Pumas head coach Peter Fewing. “He’s a talented young man that will add good things to the squad as we make our playoff run.”

Silva started 12 matches for the Reds, registering 6 goals in 1,017 minutes. One of those goals came in the Reds’ 3-2 match vs. Kitsap in Bremerton on July 10 which Reds owner Alex Silva described as “our best performance of the season.” Silva got things off to a rousing start, just missing a one-v.-one opportunity against Kitsap goalkeeper Dustyn Brim in the match’s first minute.

Silva was third in scoring and third in minutes played for Yakima this season.

BlueJackets Draw 1,109 on Tuesday

Gene Lobe Field at the Kitsap County Fair & Events Center was buzzing on Tuesday.

The BlueJackets and Kelowna Falcons drew a season-high 1,109 fans to their West Coast League game, a 9-8 Kitsap victory. It, no doubt, had a lot to do with the weather and Kitsap’s $2 Tuesday promotion. General admission tickets are $2 on Tuesdays, That’s also the cost of a domestic beer, or a soft drink and a hot dog. There’s only one $2 Tuesday left — Aug. 3 against Wenatchee. Here’s a look at league attendance figures.

The BlueJackets continue their push toward a postseason playoff berth tonight in Hoquiam.  Kitsap’s playing Kelowna  in the Ken Waite Classic, a fundraiser held in honor of the late Grays Harbor legend.

Here’s a story from the The Daily World on the event, which included a youth clinic.

A West Coast League game and youth baseball clinic will compose the inaugural Ken Waite Classic, scheduled for Wednesday at Olympic Stadium in Hoquiam.
The event will begin with a free youth clinic, scheduled from 2 to 3 p.m. It is open to boys and girls in the 5-12 age group.
The Kitsap BlueJackets from the Bremerton area and Kelowna Falcons, from British Columbia, will then collide in a West Coast League contest scheduled for 6 p.m. The West Coast League is a circuit for college-aged players.
Proceeds from the game will be divided between the Grays Harbor College athletic program and the Humbabe Revolution, the charity started by the Waite family in support of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.
Former Aberdeen educator/coach and Grays Harbor College athletic director Waite died of cancer in January, 2009.
Admission is $5 for adults. Children wearing baseball apparel will be admitted free.
Interestingly, both head coaches for the West Coast League game grew up in Aberdeen.
Kitsap coach Matt Acker is a former longtime coach at Green River Community College. Kelowna coach Kevin Frady is the son of Corky Frady, a former Harbor resident who, among other things, was a radio broadcaster for area high school sports during the 1970s and ’80s. The younger Frady has been an assistant coach at Kansas.

Although neither attended high school on the Harbor, both coaches participated in youth camps that Waite conducted.
Acker said the idea for the benefit game came from Waite, who shortly before his death asked the Kitsap coach about the possibilities of staging a fundraising game for Grays Harbor College.
Both rosters are stocked liberally with Northwest college products.
Kitsap’s Chase Anselment, a member of the University of Washington baseball team, leads the BlueJackets in most categories and was batting .345 at last report.
Tanner Nielson, who played for Green River, was batting .324 in limiting at bats.
Two other Green River products, Cody Hebner and David Macey, have been among the Kitsap pitching standouts.
Kitsap’s roster also includes Tyson Schmitt, a Chehalis High graduate who plays for Centralia College. Schmitt, however, is reportedly out for the season with an injury.
Kelowna standouts include Gonzaga’s Tyler Chism, who is batting .308, and Oregon’s Aaron Jones, who was batting .407 in limited appearances.
Kitsap and Kelowna players and coaches will help conduct the clinic.