BASEBALL: Bower pitches Beamer to state for first time in school history
By CASEY OLSON
Federal Way Mirror Sports editor
May 9, 2012 · Updated 11:45 AM
For the first time in the history of the school, the Todd Beamer baseball team is headed to the state tournament.
The Titans earned their place in the 16-team Class 4A championship with an impressive 6-0 win over the Skyview Storm Tuesday at Propstra Field in Vancouver at the West Central/Southwest District Tournament. The Storm came into the game riding an 11-game winning streak and the champions of the Greater St. Helen's League.
But Skyview (15-6) hadn't seen anything like Beamer senior left-hander Matt Bower during the regular season. The University of Washington-bound Bower shut down the Storm, allowing just four hits in his seven innings of work. The complete-game shutout was Bower's third of the season and lowered his already-miniscule earned-run average to 0.46.
"He has just been great for us," said head coach Jerry Peterson. "He didn't even have his good stuff. He just fought through. It was pretty cool to see."
Wednesday's victory guaranteed the Titans (14-7) one of the West Central/Southwest District's top-four seeds into the state tournament.
The Titans will play the Tahoma Bears at 10 a.m. at Kent Memorial Park on Saturday, May 12, in the West Central/Southwest District semifinals. The winner will take on the winner of a game between Kentwood and Puyallup at 7 p.m. Saturday in Kent for the district's first and second seeds to state. The two losers will play at 4 p.m. in the third/fourth game.
"We have been playing a lot better lately," Peterson said. "We have a great group of kids. That's what is cool about this, is that they are just awesome kids. We are just kind of on a roll."
Beamer's Sam Kosbab got things gave Bower all the run support he would need in the top of the first inning with an RBI double to give the Titans a quick 1-0 lead.
The Beamer offense added to the lead in the third when Kosbab, who finished 2 for 4 with a pair of doubles on the day, reached on one of five Skyview errors. Jarred Prather tallied another run in the third for a 2-0 lead.
An inning later, Lawyer Braun would come home on an error to give the Titans a 3-0 lead, and two batters later Kosbab’s second double of the day plated two more runs to put Beamer up 5-0.
Beamer tacked on one more run in the seventh. Kosbab finished 3 for 4 with three RBIs and Braun was 4 for 4 with two doubles and a triple.
"Lawyer and Sam had huge games for us," Peterson said. "Overall, we are just playing better."
But the real story of the game was the pitching of the 6-foot-4 Bower, who also added 10 strikeouts to his season total.
Saturday's matchup against Tahoma will be a rematch between the two teams. The Titans secured the South Puget Sound League's third seed with a 7-4 win over the Bears May 4 at Heritage Park in Puyallup.
In the SPSL Tournament matchup between the second-place teams from the North and South divisions, the Bears took an early 4-0 lead with all four of their runs in the bottom of the second inning.
But the Titans fought right back, tallying three runs in the top of the third. Beamer plated four more runs in the fifth to take the lead for good.
Jarred Prather led the way for the Titan offense by finishing 2 for 4 with two RBIs. Richard Apigo ended up 1 for 4 with two runs. Sam Kosbab earned the win on the mound after entering the game in relief. Kosbab finished with four strikeouts. Tahoma had only four hits during the game.
The Class 4A State Tournament kicks off on May 19 at four, four-team regional sites across Washington. The four regional champions will advance to the Final Four at Gesa Stadium in Pasco on May 25. The four regionals will take place at Avista Stadium in Spokane, Everett Stadium, Heidelberg Park in Tacoma and Kent Memorial.
Contact Federal Way Mirror Sports editor Casey Olson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (253) 925-5565 ext. 5056.