Sports

Double trouble

By CASEY OLSON

Sports editor

Brett Davis is the definition of a “program kid.”

He lives, eats and breathes Federal Way baseball. Davis takes being a part of the Eagles program very seriously.

“He is our captain,” said Federal Way High School coach Eric Fiedler. “He sets the tone for our practices and runs our off-season workouts. He also organizes fund-raisers and does things that coaches can’t do.”

Davis’ dedication is paying off big-time this season, his final at Federal Way. The Eagles travel to Heidelberg Park in Tacoma today to take on the Evergreen (Vancouver) Plainsmen at 11 a.m. in the Class 4A state quarterfinals –– thanks, in large part, to Davis.

He is a perfect 8-0 on the mound with a miniature earned-run average of 1.52 for the Eagles. And when he is not dominating on the mound, Davis plays a solid third base and is hitting .340 at the plate. He is one of the favorites to be Federal Way’s fourth South Puget Sound League South Division Player of the Year in a row. The teams will be announced after state.

Not bad for a kid Fiedler wasn’t relying heavily on coming into the season. Davis threw just 11 innings last season as a junior, good for two wins, and hit around .300. His 2003 season, which includes a no-hitter in the SPSL championship game, wasn’t something Fiedler and pitching coach Danny Graham were counting on. They didn’t know Davis was going to emerge as the “ace of the staff.”

“That job was up in the air coming in,” said Fiedler. “We had no idea he was going to be as dominant as he has been.”

But all Davis’ success hasn’t gone to the humble kid’s head. He deflects all the accolades back onto his teammates and coaches, always complimenting the defense behind him and the hard work Fiedler and Graham have put into the program.

“We just have to win state,” said Davis. “Nothing else matters.”

Never was this prima donna-less attitude more noticable than after Davis threw his no-hitter May 10 in a 2-1 win over Kentridge. There was no pig-pile on the mound, no hugging and propping Davis onto a pair of shoulders and carrying him off the field. It was just business as usual.

“We were just kind of excited to get the win,” Davis said. “I hit my spots and the defense took care of me. They did the job for me.”

Tradition is a big part of the Federal Way baseball legacy. The Eagles have been solid for more than a decade and continue to produce some of the best baseball talent in the state year after year. Davis, along with senior second baseman Greg Washington and senior centerfielder Andre Piper-Jordan, are carrying on that committment –– just in a little different way than past Eagles ball clubs.

Fiedler can’t count on putting 10 runs on the scoreboard every game or have infielders boot ground balls, allowing opponents extra baserunners, like in year’s past. They just don’t have the offensive firepower.

The Eagles don’t have Brady Everett (now at Clemson), Nick Batkoski (now at the University of Washington), Kenny Yun (now at Tacoma Community College), Shea McFeely (signed with Oregon State) or Travis Ishikawa (now playing single-A ball with San FraBncisco) in the middle of the order hitting well over .400 to drive in runs.

“We are only hitting about .280 as a team this year,” Fiedler said. “That is the lowest we’ve been in a while. The last three years we have swung it extremely well.

“We are a lot more balanced this year. We don’t have to get production from the top half of our lineup.”

But Davis and his teammates still have the fire to win –– something the past teams have also possessed. A bulk of this year’s team didn’t get to experience winning the Class 4A state championship in 2001 as sophomores.

“We just have to win state,” said Davis. “That’s all that matters.”

The senior is heading to Central Washington University in the fall, but is still unsure about whether he will take a chance on playing baseball. He hasn’t been offered a scholarship.

Central plays in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference with schools like Saint Martin’s, Western Oregon and Northwest Nazarene.

“I hope baseball is in his future,” said Fiedler. “He just loves high school baseball. So we’ll see.”

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, sports@fedwaymirror.com

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