Eagles fall in title game

Going into the final four of the 4A state high school baseball tournament last weekend, the Federal Way Eagles said any team hoping to keep them from winning a second consecutive championship would need good pitching and hitting.

The Woodinville Falcons had plenty of both as they stunned Federal Way 6-1 in the title game Saturday at Cheney Stadium.

For the first state championship in its school history, Woodinville rode the left arm of pitcher Chris Albrecht and a six-run, four-hit outburst in the fifth inning.

“We’ve been a big-inning team all along,” said Falcons coach Terry Agnew. “We swing the bats pretty well and there’s always somebody different coming through for us.”

Federal Way, which finished the season with a 21-3 record — including a 3-1 trimming of Richland in the semifinals Friday — realized its worst fears against Woodinville (24-2).

“We knew they had good arms and could hit,” said coach Eric Fiedler. “We’ll look back in a couple weeks and realize what we accomplished this year. But right now, this hurts.”

Albrecht, a junior, kept Federal Way’s attack at arm’s length. Except for Kenny Yun’s two-out triple in the third inning to score Greg Washington, the Eagles advanced runners to second base only twice — on a hit batter and a walk in the second inning, and via an error and a walk in the fifth.

Albrecht finished with a six-hitter and nine strikeouts, including three strikeouts in the sixth inning that further dimmed any Federal Way hope of a comeback.

Yun had his own pitching gem through four innings. He retired the first 10 batters and kept his team ahead 1-0. “He had good stuff,” Fiedler said.

Then came the fifth inning, as Woodinville’s offense broke out in almost every way imaginable — sometimes with Federal Way’s help. Matt Tuiasosopo, brother of former University of Washington quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo, led off with a double and scored when Nick Hall followed with a single.

After Federal Way third baseman Brett Davis stopped Casey Priseman’s hard smash but couldn’t make a play on it, Yun gave up his first walk, loading the bases. Then Hall raced in with the winning run on Mark Thompson’s squeeze-bunt single.

After that, Yun walked Kevin Agnew to force in another run and Richie Lentz ripped a two-run double just inside the leftfield line, building the Falcons’ lead to 5-1. Yun was replaced by Travis Ishikawa, whose bases-loaded pitch hit Tuiasosopo — up for the second time in the inning — to account for Woodinville’s final run. A double play to end the inning stopped the onslaught.

Albrecht retired Federal Way in order the last two innings to set off a joyful title celebration of his team and its fans.

Tuiasosopo’s double and the squeeze play were keys to Woodinville’s fifth-inning surge, Agnew said.

Fiedler said he was hoping in the fifth inning that Yun would be able to pitch his way out of trouble, although “we saw that he’d lost some velocity.”

Yun allowed six hits, struck out four Falcons and walked four in four and one-third innings.

Ishikawa, who started the game at first base, was hitless in four at-bats in his final game for Federal Way. Another senior star, Shea McFeely, had a double.

Besides the lone run in the third inning, the only time Federal Way’s offense sniffed home plate was two innings later, when Washington and McFeely reached base on an error and a walk, respectively. The mini-rally ended when Yun flew out to centerfield.

Woodinville played most of the game without starting leftfielder Andy Lentz.

He suffered a concussion and a possible broken wrist in a collision with shortstop Agnew as they tried to catch a bloop single by Federal Way’s Brandon Goff in the first inning.

“It was a tough night” for Lentz, said his coach. Winning a championship eased the pain, though.”

Federal Way 3, Richland 1

McFeely finished his high school career unbeaten as a pitcher, going 19-0 with a five-hit, five-strikeout performance Friday.

Three of Richland’s hits came in the first two innings. One of them should have kept John Tierney on first base with a single in the second inning, but the ball got past Ishikawa into the outfield, allowing Tierney to dash to third base. He scored later on Ryan Mead’s sacrifice fly to knot the score at one apiece.

Federal Way broke the deadlock on junior second baseman Washington’s heroics in the fifth inning. They were set up by Donny Farris’ leadoff single (the Eagles’ third hit to that point), another single by Andre Piper-Jordan and Richland’s decision to intentionally walk Ishikawa and pitch instead to Washington.

“It’s frustrating because it seems like its disrespectful to me,” Washington said of teams intentionally walk Ishikawa to get to him. “But it makes me a better player. I’m just looking to get a good pitch and drive it.”

Washington responded with a single that scored Farris and Piper-Jordan.

The gamewinner was one of Washington’s two hits in the contest.

Other than a two-out single in the sixth inning, McFeely had no trouble protecting the lead the rest of the way. He got a measure of revenge against Tierney and Mead by striking them out in the final inning.

McFeely fanned the same duo to end a Richland threat in the fourth inning, when the Bombers had a runner on second base with one out.

McFeely was involved in Federal Way’s first run. In the first inning, Ishikawa walked, stole second base and sprinted home on McFeely’s groundout.

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