Sports

Federal Way falls in final

By CASEY OLSON

Sports editor

The Federal Way Eagles went from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows in the span of a day.

After a seventh-inning home run Friday afternoon off the bat of senior Terry Bishop catapulted the Eagles into their third straight Class 4A baseball state championship game, Federal Way again finished as the second-best team in Washington. The Eagles (19-6) fell to South Kitsap 6-3 Saturday night. Federal Way lost to Woodinville in the final game last season.

“These kids really expect to win,” coach Eric Fiedler said.

Bishop’s blast gave the Eagles a 4-3 win in the semifinals over Tahoma at Everett Memorial Stadium and the Eagles’ momentum seemed to spill over to Saturday’s championship.

Federal Way took a quick 3-0 lead in the first inning over an obviously nervous South Kitsap team.

But that is when the horseshoe turned upside down for the Eagles.

“We kind of lost our composure,” Fiedler said. “Some guys let their nerves get the best of them.”

South Kitsap rode the right arm of Brian Cox to the state championship. The senior right hander allowed the three early runs to the Eagles, but shut out Federal Way’s offense in the final six innings to improve to 9-1 on the season.

“He’s got a good arm,” Fiedler said.

“Brian really settled down after the first inning,” said South Kitsap coach Elton Goodwin, who retired after 28 years of coaching the Wolves after the game. “I think the nerves got to him.”

The Eagles used their team speed and aggressive play to jump all over the Wolves Saturday night.

Senior centerfielder Andre Piper-Jordan led off the game with an infield single, stole second and then advanced to third when the throw from South Kitsap catcher Josh Ness hit Piper-Jordan and bounced into the outfield.

Senior Mitch Harrison walked before Kyle Henselman singled to left center, scoring Piper-Jordan for the Eagles first run. Nick Harteau, who ran for Henselman, also stole second and eventually scored after another throwing error from Ness.

After a strikeout by cleanup hitter Thomas Watts, senior Greg Washington singled up the middle through a drawn-in infield to give the Eagles the commanding 3-0 lead.

That was the best the final game would get for the Eagles.

South Kitsap got things going in the top of the third off Henselman. Shortstop Pat Kelly led off the inning with a single and eventually scored on an RBI single from cleanup hitter Adam Siler to close to 3-1.

After a 1-2-3 inning from Cox, the Wolves came back the bottom of the fourth to take the lead. Evan Brookfield led off with a home run to left field to make it 3-2.

Lonnie Ledenburg singled and eventually scored on an infield single from Ness to tie the game. A fielder’s choice by Siler plated Cody McCully to put the Wolves up for good.

South Kitsap added some insurance in the sixth thanks to a home run by Kelly and an RBI single by Siler off of Bishop, who couldn’t get an out after facing four SK hitters after relieving Henselman.

Junior lefthander Doug Lottes then entered with the bases loaded and no outs and promptly retired three in a row without allowing a run. He also went 1-2-3 in the seventh to give the Eagles a shot at another dramatic comeback, which almost happened.

Federal Way loaded the bases on Cox with one out, but couldn’t push any runs across.

Henselman (8-2) started the game and threw into the sixth inning, trying to win his fourth game of the postseason.

Lottes finished 2-for-3, as did Harrison.

The loss to South Kitsap ends the high school careers of several seniors on the Eagle roster, who have been associated with three straight trips to the championship game.

“These seniors have really stepped up,” said pitching coach Danny Graham.

“We don’t really talk about it,” Piper-Jordan said. “We fought hard all year. Nobody really gave us a shot. We had a lot of doubters, but we shocked ‘em.”

Federal Way 4, Tahoma 3

It was Bishop’s blast that got Federal Way into the Class 4A final game Friday afternoon. Bishop’s solo home run into the net above the centerfield fence at Everett Memorial Stadium saved the Eagles from what would have been a devastating loss to the Tahoma Bears in the state semifinals.

“I just knew we had to do it,” Bishop said after being mobbed by his teammates. “I got my pitch and hit it as far as I could.”

Tahoma pitcher Tim Segelke, a 6-foot-4 lefthander, fell behind Bishop 2-0 to lead off the seventh, allowing the Eagle third baseman to sit on a fastball.

“I was looking fastball,” Bishop said. “I wanted my pitch and if I saw it, I was swinging as hard as I could. I just try to carry the team. As a senior it is my responsibility to carry the team. (Segelke) was a solid pitcher, but he was up all day.”

It was the second time in as many weeks that Bishop has been the hitting hero for the Eagles. Bishop banged out a game-tying triple in the bottom of the seventh during a 7-6 victory over Evergreen in the state quarterfinals at Heidelberg Park.

“He just got a pitch,” said Fiedler.

The Eagles held a commanding 3-0 lead entering the top of the seventh, but the Bears, who tied for third place in the South Puget Sound League North Division, continued to battle.

Tahoma loaded the bases with one out and senior centerfielder Bryce Freed connected on a two-run double that banged off the manual scoreboard in right-center field to cut the Eagle lead to 3-2. A sacrifice fly to right field by Danny Meier scored third baseman Enrique Castro to even the score at 3-3 and moved Freed to third with two outs.

Henselman, who had replaced starter Brett Davis earlier in the seventh, then struck out Adam Balcolm to end the Tahoma threat, setting up Bishop’s lead off bomb.

“Kyle made some good pitches to the last guy,” Fiedler said.

“I was a little worried,” Bishop said. “I thought that we could have been in trouble.”

Davis, the SPSL South Player of the Year, was solid again on the mound for the Eagles. The senior right hander pitched into the seventh before giving way to Henselman. Davis finished the season with a perfect 8-0 record. He gave up just five hits to the Bears and struck out four.

The Federal Way offense got things going in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Eagles broke the scoreless tie with a pair of runs in the inning thanks to an RBI double by senior second baseman Greg Washington and a Bishop single through the hole between third and shortstop.

The Federal Way lead grew to 3-0 in the fifth when Piper-Jordan singled in Lottes with his second hit of the day.

Washington finished 1-for-3 with a double and RBI.

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

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