BASEBALL: Beamer set for first state appearance, play Jackson Saturday; Decatur done

The Todd Beamer Titans seem to have everything in place for a run at a state baseball championship.

The Titans split a pair of games Saturday at the West Central/Southwest Districts to earn the third seed into the 16-team Class 4A State Tournament. Beamer lost a heart-breaker to the Tahoma Bears in the district semifinal in extra innings, 8-7, at Heidelberg Park before beating Puyallup, 7-2, in the third/fourth game later in the day.

The Titans will take on the Jackson Timberwolves (15-9) at 10 a.m. in the regional round of the Class 4A State Tournament at Tacoma's Heidelberg Park Saturday morning.

The Timberwolves beat Ballard, 10-3, in a playoff game between the No. 3 seeds out of the Wesco and KingCo leagues. Jackson lost in the state title game a season ago.

"Jackson is a very good team," Beamer head coach Jerry Peterson said. "I saw them play Ballard and was impressed."

Aside from Jackson, the other two teams in the Titans' regional are very familiar. Rogers will take on Tahoma in the other loser-out game at Heidelberg. Those two teams will play at 1 p.m. with the regional championship between the two winners immediately following at 4 p.m.

Beamer has played both Rogers and Tahoma twice this season, splitting with both teams. Rogers (15-9) finished right behind Beamer in third place in the SPSL South and Tahoma was second behind Kentwood in the SPSL North.

The winner of the four-team regional will advance to the state semifinals, which will be held Gesa Stadium in Pasco May 25-26.

Beamer will most likely see Jackson's ace Sam Brown Saturday morning in Tacoma. Brown is 3-1 on the season and has already signed a letter of intent to play outfield at the University of Arizona. Brown picked up the win against Ballard.

But the Titans will have a Division I-bound ace of their own on the mound. Beamer will start Matt Bower in the opener against Jackson, according to Peterson. Bower, a senior left-hander, will pitch next year at Washington State. He is 5-2 on the season with a 0.57 earned-run average.

Against Tahoma Saturday, the Titans took an early 6-2 lead. But the Bears came back to tie the game at 6-6 with a run in the bottom of the seventh and won it in the 10th inning with a run.

Offensively, Beamer got another big game from Sam Kosbab, who finished 2 for 3 with three RBIs. Shortstop Brett Oyer was 3 for 3 with five runs and four stolen bases and Jarred Prather ended up 3 for 6 with an RBI.

The Titans dominated Puyallup in the third/fourth game Saturday in Tacoma. Beamer tallied two runs in the first, two in the fifth, two in the sixth and one in the seventh. Puyallup, who won the SPSL South and beat the Titans twice during the regular season, finished with only five hits.



The improbable postseason ride came to an end for the Decatur Gators (6-18) Saturday with a 12-4 loss to the Peninsula Seahawks in a winner-to-state, loser-out game at Heidelberg Park in Tacoma.

The Seahawks, who were the regular season champions of the SPSL 3A Division, tallied eight runs in the top of the fifth to blow open the game. The Gators led 2-1 before the Peninsula outburst. It was Peninsula's fourth win over Decatur this season.

Offensively, the Gators were led by first baseman Jim Sullivan. The 6-foot-3 junior finished 1 for 1 with a solo home run. Mitchell Ciotta was 2 for 2 with an RBI and a run for Decatur. Janson Junk took the loss on the mound.

The Gators finished just 3-16 during the regular season with all three wins coming against the lowly Lakes Lancers. But that didn't stop Decatur from stringing three wins together during the postseason to come within one game of the state tournament.

The Gators beat Kennedy, Auburn Mountainview and Capital at the district playoffs before losing consecutive games to Mountain View and Peninsula.

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