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Jim Sharkey is a two-sport head coach for the Ferris Saxons. (Dan Pelle)

Sharkey head coach in two sports at Ferris

Jim Sharkey pulls a rare double in Washington, at least among 4A head coaches.

He not only is the Ferris head football coach, but he’s also the Saxons’ head baseball coach. To the best of our research, no other 4A head football coach also coaches another major sport.

Sharkey enjoys pulling double duty.

“My first love as a player was baseball,” said Sharkey, who played both sports at Kent Meridian. “I was a tight end/defensive end in football. I was a first baseman in baseball. I was a better baseball player for sure.”

Both sports, though, are completely different to coach, he said.

It starts with temperament.

“It’s a lot different in baseball. You have to be so relaxed,” Sharkey said.

He loves the challenge of coaching football more than baseball.

“I like the strategy of football,” he said. “You have a little more impact in football. The frustrating thing in baseball is you can be great at eight positions but not have good pitching. In baseball, you can get beat by one guy.”

He enjoys the pace of baseball.

“I love the flow of a baseball game,” he said. “I love that it’s not timed.”

There are times, though, when Sharkey would love to have a clock in baseball. The most recent example was two weeks ago in the first game against Gonzaga Prep when the Saxons took a 7-1 lead into the seventh inning and had to hold on for a 7-6 win.

“Trying to get the 21st out was a little bit of a chore,” he said. “In football you could have taken a knee and gotten out of there.”

Appropriately dubbed

It’s a good thing Pullman’s mascot is the greyhound, considering the travel they’ve done this spring.

Pullman, which vaulted into first in the Great Northern League last weekend, has yet to play a game on its home field. Heck, the Greyhounds haven’t even practiced on their home field.

“It’s still too saturated with water,” coach Lance Lincoln said. “The dirt from first to third base is OK, but the infield grass is still too soft.”

The Greyhounds have practiced in the high school gym since late February. The closest they’ve come to their own campus is playing four games at Washington State University. However, Pullman (10-2) has won 10 in a row. The Greyhounds hope to make their home debut Saturday in a doubleheader against East Valley.

“Every now and again we’ve snuck into the left field corner and stretched out, but otherwise we’ve practiced in the gym,” Lincoln said.

“I’m amazed at the kids,” Lincoln said. “They show up and practice knowing we’re going to be stuck in the gym. They’re a remarkable group to be doing what they’re doing under the circumstances.”

Pullman has a two-game lead over Cheney (10-4) and three over Clarkston (9-4). Cheney and Clarkston play today.

“That’s one thing we’re going to have to work on as a group and not overlook anybody,” Lincoln said. “They’ve done the groundwork and put themselves in a great position. It’s a matter of taking care of it.”

Lincoln didn’t expect to challenge for the league title this year, but said … “the guys have done a nice job of stepping up.”

Eight of 12 Greyhounds are hitting over. 300. They’re led by Pete Barner (.467, 21 for 45), Matt Peterson (.457, 21 for 46) and Jeremy Druffel (.444, 20 for 45). Nick Scourey (4-0, 1.75 ERA, 29 strikeouts) leads on the mound.

Coeur d’Alene still leads

Lewiston (9-4, 2-2) swept a doubleheader from visiting Lake City (6-6, 2-3) on Saturday to stay in the hunt with 5A league-leading Coeur d’Alene (12-1, 5-0).

Alan Willey drove in the winning run in a 4-2 win in the opener and then threw a five-inning no-hitter in the second. It’s the second time this year he’s been part of a no-hitter and the third thrown by a Lewiston pitcher. Jarrod Hassell had one.

LC is at CdA today at 4.

Statistically speaking

Mt. Spokane topped Mead 2-0 last week in a pitchers’ duel. Mead’s Nick Sagendorf and Mt. Spokane’s Kelly Fitzpatrick each threw complete games, striking out 12 and allowing four hits. Fitzpatrick had 15 strikeouts in 8 2/3 innings last week. … University scored 50 runs in three games last week, outscoring opponents 50-9, to jump into second place. Cody McGlocklin (4-1) picked up two wins. Tim McBroom is 4-1 with a 2.26 ERA. Thomas Wakem continued his hot batting, going 8 for 12 to lift his team- and GSL-leading average to .643 with 23 runs, 27 hits, eight doubles, two triples, three homers, nine stolen bases and 31 RBIs – best in league. All of those categories lead the Titans. Teammate Nick Motsinger (.442, 19 for 43) went 6 for 11 with six RBIs and Hayden Powell (.455, 15 for 33) was 7 for 10 with seven runs last week. Motsinger and Powell each have scored 23 runs.