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STATE BASEBALL: Beamer finishes fourth after losses to Kentwood, Richland at Final Four
It just wasn't meant to be for the Todd Beamer High School baseball team.
The Titans had trouble doing the two things that earned them the program's first-ever berth into the Class 4A State Baseball Tournament — pitching and playing defense.
Beamer (18-8) lost both of their games at the Class 4A Final Four last weekend at Gesa Stadium in Pasco to perennial baseball powers Kentwood and Richland. But the upstart Titans did bring home a fourth-place trophy. Kentwood beat the Titans, 8-5, in the semifinals and Richland outlasted Beamer, 10-7, in the third/fourth game Saturday afternoon. The Titans committed a total of six errors in the two games.
In Friday's semifinal against Kentwood in Pasco, things started out perfectly for Beamer. The Titans tallied three runs in the first two innings and had their ace, Washington State-bound Matt Bower, on the mound.
Bower enter the game with a 6-2 record and a 0.50 earned-run average. He had allowed only four earned runs in 56 1/3 innings pitched. But Friday night, Bower was touched up for seven runs and couldn't get out of the fifth inning against the eventual state-champion Conquerors.
Kentwood's potent offense plated three runs in the bottom of the second to tie the game back up and all three came with two outs.
Kentwood shortstop Kade Kyrzsko connected on a two-run triple and scored the game-tying run on Cash McGuire's single.
Beamer got a pair of runs in the first when Jarred Prather hammered a two-run double off the left-centerfield wall at Gesa Stadium with two outs to give the Titans a quick 2-0 lead. Beamer's third run came on a Kentwood error in the second.
The Titans took the lead back from the Conks in the fourth inning on a sacrifice fly by Lawyer Braun. But that was the last time Beamer would lead in the game.
Kentwood scored a pair in the bottom of the fourth to take the lead back and tallied two more runs in the fifth to take a commanding 7-4 advantage. The Conquerors added an insurance run in the sixth.
The Titans finished with 10 hits, compared to nine by Kentwood. Senior shortstop Brett Oyer was 2 for 3 with a double. But Beamer also finished with a pair of errors in the field.
Richland 10, Beamer 7 (third/fourth game)
The Titans just couldn't overcome the huge 7-0 deficit they found themselves in Saturday at Gesa Stadium.
A bulk of the damage came in the second inning when Richland (22-6) sent 11 hitters to the plate and tallied six runs. The Bombers added another run in the top of the third.
Beamer fought back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third, but Richland plated two in the fifth and one more in the top of the seventh to lead 10-2 going into the Titans' final at-bat.
But, like they have showcased all season long, the Titans didn't have any give-up in them. Beamer scored five runs with one out in the seventh.
But Richland junior pitcher Nate Ruane came on with two runners on and the potential game-tying run hitting and struck out both hitters he faced to give the Bombers third place.
Offensively, Beamer was led by Oyer, who finished 2 for 3 with run and two RBIs. Daniel Lee knocked in a pair of runs in the seventh on a single and Richie Apigo was 2 for 4 with two runs and an RBI. Freshman Ben Arata scored two runs for the Titans.