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.
Sometimes we’re the last to know.
The Kitsap BlueJackets and the Bellingham Bells hooked up in a donnybrook at Friday’s West Coast League game in Bellingham. Here’s the video that was posted on You Tube. That makes for an interesting series this week at the Fairgrounds. The Jackets and Bells open a three-game series Tuesday.
It’ll be interesting to see if the league hands down any suspensions.
After a week off to (mostly) beat up on non-league competition,
the Kitsap BlueJackets return to West Coast League play on Friday at the
Fairgrounds. The Jackets play the expansion Walla Walla Sweets
tonight at 6:30 p.m.
The Jackets went unbeaten against the the four teams from the Puget Sound Collegiate League it faced. The only loss during the five-game stretch came from the Seattle Studs.
The Jackets return to league play battling the Bend Elks for first place in the West Division. Bend and Kitsap are tied with four losses each in the loss column. Bend is 10-4; Kitsap is 7-4.
This is Kitsap’s best start in club history. The reason? Offense, baby.
The Jackets were woeful with the bat last year and were second-to-last in just about every offensive category. This year they are third in the league in batting average and second in on-base percentage.
The pitching hasn’t bad either, as it’s fourth in the league in ERA.
Also tonight, the Kitsap Sun is honoring it’s athlete and coaches of the year before the game. For a reminder, Central Kitsap track and field and cross country coach Mark Ward, CK’s distance star Shane Moskowtiz and Kingston’s distance star Ruby Roberts will all be honored.
And a few other notes:
The Jackets had one player taken in baseball’s amateur draft. Pitcher Jake Shadle, who is from Graham, was drafted in the 32nd round by the San Diego Padres and plans to sign, Acker said. Shadle pitched in Kitsap’s exhibition opener. … Former Kitsap outfielder Brian Heere (2008) was drafted in the 41st round by the Cleveland Indians. … The Jackets have lost two pitchers to injuries before they arrived in Kitsap. Jeff Arnold, who plays at Morehead State, and John Koch, who played in Arkansas State, won’t join the team. … The Jackets picked up pitcher Chad Thompson, who sat out the season for Orange Coast College, a junior college in Costa Mesa, Calif. Thompson is a 6-foot-8 fireballer who can throw 95 mph and was drafted in the 24th round by the Philadelphia Phillies, but couldn’t come to terms. .