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Auburn downs FW for SPSL baseball crown
By CASEY OLSON
The Auburn Trojans got the big hit Monday night and the Federal Way Eagles didnt. Its as simple as that.
The Trojans remained unbeaten at 20-0 and took the South Puget Sound League baseball championship away from the Eagles after Federal Way had a stranglehold on the distinction for the last three years. Auburn downed the Eagles 4-3 in front of a standing-room only, rain-drenched crowd at Kent Memorial Field Monday.
Federal Way now advances as the SPSLs No. 2 seed into the West Central/Southwest District Tournament. The Eagles will play the Narrows League No. 2 team, either North Kitsap or Capital, at 11 a.m. at Daffodil Sports Complex Saturday. The winner advances to the regional tournament and the loser will play the winner of a game between Sumner and the Narrows No. 5 seed in a loser-out contest.
It was a big two RBI single to right-center by Auburn third baseman Chris Steiner that erased a 3-2 Federal Way advantage Monday night. Auburn pitchers Derek Lewis, Brent Bopkin and Kraig Sumers then held the powerful Eagles scoreless in the final four innings to seal the win.
Federal Ways best scoring chance came in the top of the seventh. The Eagles loaded the bases with two outs on a walk to Thomas Watts, a single by starting pitcher Jon Flood and a walk to Doug Lottes. But Sumers struck out third baseman Tyler Pac looking on a full count to end the game.
Federal Way jumped on Lewis, who threw 6 1/3 innings, in the top of the first. Nick Harteau and Brandon Turrell led of the game with a pair of singles and Harteau came around to score on a fielders choice by Flood. Auburn came back to tie the game at 1-1 on an RBI single by K.C. Herren in the bottom of the first.
Federal Way scored a single run in the second on a sacrifice fly by Harteau and added an RBI single by Flood in the third to go up 3-1.
Flood finished 2-for-4 at the plate with a pair of RBIs and also threw 95 pitches in five innings of work for the Eagles.
The Auburn-Federal Way game was scheduled for Saturday, but rain forced the SPSL to move the game back to Monday.
In a game that took three days to complete, the Raiders downed Sumner 9-6 Monday afternoon. The win secures TJ the No. 5 seed from the SPSL. The game started Saturday and got to the bottom of the sixth inning before the rain hit, but not before the Raiders tallied five runs in the top of the inning to break a 4-4 tie.
The game continued where it was stopped, with Sumner hitting in the sixth. It was the second time the Raiders have beaten Sumner this year. Jefferson downed the Spartans 9-8 in extra innings the second game of the season.
The Raiders will play at 2 p.m. Saturday against the No. 3 team from the Greater St. Helens League in a loser-out game. The winner will play the loser of a game between Auburn and the No. 3 team from the Narrows League at 5 p.m. The winner advances to the regional tournament May 22.