Yelm High School might very well have the state’s top baseball prospect in right-handed flamethrower Parker McFadden, but South Kitsap continues to be the alpha of the 4A Narrows League.
Mac McCarty homered twice and pitched a complete game as the defending champion Wolves took sole possession of first place in the league standings with a 5-2 victory over the Tornados on Monday. The loss snaps Yelm’s five-game winning streak and drops the Tornados to 13-4 overall and 6-3 in league play.
McFadden, who threw a no-hitter against Stadium in his last start on April 20, lasted 41/3 innings — his shortest stint this season — before being pulled after McCarty’s first home run, a three-run shot over the left-field wall that gave South Kitsap (11-6 overall, 7-2 4A Narrows) a 3-2 lead. It was the only hit surrendered by McFadden, but Yelm coach Brady Hoover said, McFadden’s pitch count was “more than 100” at the point, making it an easy decision for the coach to remove his ace.
“He struggled with command today and that’s not been typical of him this year,” said Hoover about McFadden, whose 97 mph fastball has piqued the interest of several major league organizations. “He was working from behind the count all day. You’re not going to be perfect every day. Still, to only give up one hit and call it an off day is pretty impressive.”
In McFadden’s no-hitter against the Tigers last week, he needed just 79 pitches — 54 of which were strikes — over seven innings with nine strikeouts.
Prior to McCarty’s blast in the fifth, McFadden (5-2) had already walked two batters in the inning. He also hit William Gatlin twice — once in the first and again in the fourth.
The Tornados got off to a fast start, scoring both their runs in the first inning.
Yelm looked to add to its lead in the third, loading the bases, but were unable to score.
“I told our guys, we have to find a way to get runs across,” Hoover said. “We had to get the bats off our shoulders. We took a lot of good pitches today, especially with two strikes. You can’t play like that.”
The Tornados managed just one hit the rest of the game — a one-out single by Connor Bensen in the sixth.
Justin Polzin took over pitching duties from McFadden in the fifth and closed out the game. He gave up a sacrifice RBI to Nathan Archuleta in the sixth and McCarty’s second home run, which landed in nearly the same spot as his first, in the seventh inning.
McCarty was equally dominant on the mound, striking out 13 Tornados, five of which were caught looking.
Each team finished with just three hits. Bensen had two hits for Yelm.
The two teams play again at 4 p.m. Wednesday in Port Orchard.