Sports

Federal Way knocks out Gig Harbor, 6-2

By CASEY OLSON

Sports editor

The Federal Way baseball team is used to the pressure that comes with playing in the postseason: The Eagles have done it the last four seasons.

“We are pretty used to this stuff,” coach Eric Fiedler said. “It doesn’t seem to get old.”

Federal Way continued its dominance on Saturday with a 6-2 workmanlike win over the Gig Harbor Tides in a West Central District game at Kent Memorial Park.

The win in the loser-out game sets up a matchup with Evergreen of Vancouver in the first round of the Class 4A state tournament at 11 a.m. Saturday at Heidelberg Park in Tacoma. Evergreen finished in second place in the Southwest League behind Skyline, the No. 1-ranked team in the state. Three of Evergreen’s four losses have come against Skyline.

“It’s a pretty good league down there,” Fiedler said. “We got a chance to watch them play and they are definitely a good defensive team. They have good pitching, but not dominating. They are used to winning and it looks like whoever plays better defense and gets some good pitching will win the game.”

Fiedler is set to start senior Brett Davis for the third postseason game in a row. The right-hander threw a no-hitter two weeks ago in the South Puget Sound League championship game against Kentridge and beat Gig Harbor on Saturday.

The winner of the Federal Way-Evergreen game will take on the winner of a 2 p.m. game between Kentridge and Jackson (Mukilteo) at 5 p.m. at Heidelberg. Junior Kyle Henselman is set to pitch that game for Federal Way – should they win.

The winner will advance to the Class 4A semifinals and finals Friday and Saturday at Everett Memorial Stadium.

On Saturday against Gig Harbor, the sixth-place team from the Narrows League, Davis used his bat more than his arm to earn the win. Davis banged out a solo home run in the third inning to pull Federal Way to within one run, 2-1.

The Eagles then put the game away in the fourth inning when they scored five unearned runs, including two on a wild pitch. With runners on second and third, the pitch squirted by the Gig Harbor catcher. In his attempt to get the runner scoring from third, the throw got away from the catcher, scoring another run.

“It was kind of a forced error,” said Fiedler. “We had a lot of speed on the bases.”

Davis didn’t have his best stuff against Gig Harbor. The senior improved to 8-0 on the season, but threw only 4-1/3 innings and gave up six hits.

“He hurt his finger during practice and I think he was a little unsure about it,” said Fiedler about a ground ball Davis took off his right index finger on Wednesday. “He just kind of got through it.”

Fiedler gives a lot of credit to Henselman. The lefthander entered the game with one out in the fifth and the bases loaded and struck out the final two hitters of the inning to end the Gig Harbor threat. Henselman went on to throw 2-2/3 innings of no-hit ball.

“It definitely wasn’t a real fancy game,” said Fiedler. “We didn’t play a pretty game defensively.”

But one defensive play that was easy on the eyes came in the top of the first inning. With no outs and a runner on first, Gig Harbor’s Kevin Owens belted a ball down the leftfield line. On a full sprint, Federal Way’s Mitch Harrison laid out and came up with the run-saving catch.

“That was a game-saver,” Fiedler said.

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