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Federal Way National LL Juniors playing at regionals
By CASEY OLSON
The Federal Way National Little League Junior teams run at the 2007 Western Regional Tournament didnt start out the way they wanted it to. But theres still a lot more baseball to be played in Beaverton, Ore.
The 13 and 14 year olds dropped their opener Tuesday to Green Valley Little League from Henderson, Nev., 10-7, but still have three more preliminary round games in the 11-team tournament. The Western Regional includes the champions from Idaho, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, Arizona, Montana, Nevada, Alaska, Washington, Northern California and Southern California.
The tournament runs through Aug. 9 with the eventual winner advancing to the Junior Little League World Series in Taylor, Mich. Aug. 12-18.
National took on Billings Heights National Little League from Montana yesterday (after press time) in a huge game. A win pretty much guaranteed Federal Way a berth into the quarterfinal round on Aug. 7. The top-four teams from each of the two pools qualify for the single-elimination quarterfinals and Montana is already 0-2 in the touranment.
National will also play round-robin games today against Southern California (1-0) and Monday against Alaska (1-0).
Federal Way National claimed the Washington state title July 25 with a 15-6 win over Selah LL at Brannan Park in Auburn. It was the second year in a row that Federal Way has played in the state championship game. Last year, National lost in title game. Federal Way qualified for state after winning the District 10 Tournament.
Against Selah, National jumped out to a 4-0 lead after a single by Cole Meyers was followed by several walks and hit batters. Jeffrey Apigo also had an RBI groundout and Ali Davenport singled in a run.
Selah followed in the second inning with two runs of their own to cut the Federal Way lead to 4-2.
National added a run in the top of the third before Selah plated three runs in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at 5-5. But that was the highlight of the day for the Yakima-area team. Federal Way followed with a pair of runs in the fourth, thanks to a Brian Moe RBI single and a Selah error, to go up 7-5.
National then added four runs each in the sixth and seventh innings to put away Selah and earn the berth into the prestigious Western Regional Tournament.
Zach Jacobs and AJ Barnhart combined for the win on the mound. Jacobs threw the first 2 1/3 innings before Barnhart took over. Jacobs returned to the mound with one out in the sixth and threw the final 1 1/3.
The 2007 Federal Way National Little League Junior team includes Peter Guthrie, Cole Meyers, Zach Jacobs, Brian Moe, Mac Gridley, Richard Apigo, Jeffrey Apigo, Carson Meyers, Adam Bolf, Ali Davenport, Mitchell Bley, AJ Barnhart and Brett Johnson.
The coaching staff includes manager Mike Barnhart, along with assistants Paul Guthrie and Henry Apigo.
Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, email@example.com