Chief Sealth pounds West Seattle in playoff tuneup

By Tim Clinton
SPORTS EDITOR

What a way to tune up for the playoffs.

Chief Sealth did it by breaking out the bats and beating close rival West Seattle for the first time in four seasons Friday, 12-3.

The Seahawks outhit the Wildcats, 14-7, in the Metro League baseball regular season finale for both teams.
"We didn't know what to expect," said Chief Sealth head coach Ernest Policarpio. "West Seattle and Chief Sealth is always a good game. We just hit the ball better. We won because we outhit them."

The Seahawks finished the regular season with a 12-9 record and now open the Metro League playoffs at 7 p.m. Monday against Ballard at Mel Olson Stadium at Steve Cox Memorial Park in White Center.

West Seattle wound up at 4-14 and out of the playoffs, which has been a rarity under head coach Velko Vitalich.
Vitalich finds himself only four coaching wins shy of 400 for his career, all of which has been spent at West Seattle.

"It's tough to watch the playoffs when you're not in them," Vitalich told Policarpio toward the end of Friday's action at Hiawatha playfield next to West Seattle High School.

Chief Sealth came out swinging, scoring four runs in the top of the first inning -- all with two out.

Isaac Hamilton started the rally with an infield single, then Evan Moe blasted a triple to deep right center to bring him home with the first run.

Kyler and Chase Gaither both followed with walks, with Moe scoring on a wild pitch. Nestor German singled in both Gaithers.

West Seattle got one of the runs back in the bottom of the inning as Jack Page walked, stole second and scored on a base hit by Anthony Coats.

Alec Nadeau doubled and scored on a single by Max Rubin-Stencil for Chief Sealth in the top of the second and Rubin-Stencil came in on an error.

After a scoreless bottom of the second for the Wildcats, the Seahawks picked up another run in the top of the third. Chase McNelly was hit by a pitch and came in after another runner was tagged out at home on a missed suicide squeeze bunt with an ensuing throw to second going wild.

West Seattle scored two in the bottom of the inning.

Ulee Hammer doubled with one out to start the rally. Jackson Sullivan moved him to third with a base hit and Andrew Burggraff was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

A Reuben Gut ground out brought in Hammer before Kit Lui was hit by a pitch. A grounder by James scored Sullivan on an unsuccessful throw home.

Hamilton doubled and scored on a Moe grounder and a wild pitch for Sealth in the fourth and McNelly walked, stole second and came around on a Nadeau grounder and a Rubin-Stencil single in the fifth.
Sealth scored the final three runs of the game in the sixth on singles by Chase Gaither and Nadeau along with Kyler Gaither getting hit by a pitch and Liam Moe, McNelly and Rubin-Stencil all walking.
Evan Moe and Liam Moe split the pitching for the Seahawks.
Evan threw the first four innings, striking out six and getting the win. Liam struck out three over the final three and scattered only two hits and a walk.

"The Moe brothers did a good job pitching," Policarpio said.

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