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Steel Lake headed to state tourney
By CASEY OLSON
The Steel Lake Senior Little League All Star Team did things the hard way.
The 14- and 15-year-old baseball team was forced to beat Renton Little League twice last week to win the District 10 championship. Steel Lake won a nail-biter in the first championship game, 3-2, and easily downed Renton, 9-2, in the second final.
Steel Lake now moves on to the Washington State Senior Little League Tournament in Vancouver, which gets underway July 17. Steel Lake will take on the winner of the District 9 Tournament at 5 p.m. at Glenwood Park.
This is a big-time, special time in their lives, said head coach Fred Fazio, who has been a volunteer coach in the Federal Way area for the last 20 years. It is something these kids are never going to forget.
It was kind of a little bit of an adrenaline rush, said player Jeff Moyer.
Steel Lake, who have been, for the most part, playing together since their days in T-ball, had to fight their way through the consolation bracket after losing to Renton in the semifinals. Following the loss, Steel Lake beat Kent to earn the rematches with Renton.
Steel Lake needed a sixth-inning rally to win the opener. Down 2-0, Steel Lake got RBI hits from Todd Muecklisch, Ron Tomyn and Jason Voight to take the 3-2 lead. Kyle Freeman and Muecklisch combined on the win on the mound.
I felt really confident with the top of our order coming up, Fazio said about the three-run sixth. It was a very exciting game to come back like we did.
The second championship game was never really in question for Steel Lake. They took a commanding 5-0 lead after two innings, before Renton scored their two runs in the third. But Steel Lake added four runs in the sixth. Tomyn picked up the victory on the mound.
We all just ran out there (after the win), Moyer said. We were just so happy. I think we are good because we work as a team and not just individuals playing on the team. We lose together and win together.
The Steel Lake Senior Little League All Stars include, Moyer, Muecklisch, Tomyn, Voight, Jeremy Anderson, Jessie Boggs, Sean Doherty, Kyle Freeman, Cory Haywood, Tyler Jeffcoat, Eric Nishimura, Teddy Spicer and Vincent Voung.
They are some of the nicest boys around, Fazio said. They have had a real nice season and worked really hard.
In other Little League tournament action:
In the District 10 Little League Tournament (11-12 year olds), Steel Lake has rolled into the semifinals with a pair of victories over Chinook Little League (Enumclaw and Buckley) and Bonney Lake/Sumner. Steel Lake will take on Auburn Little League today at 3:30 p.m. at Mel Olson Stadium in White Center with a berth into the championship game on the line.
The 7-3 win over Bonney Lake/Sumner came Wednesday night and was highlighted by the complete-game win on the mound by Justin Lanier and a big home run by Kyle Lorenzen.
Things went pretty well, said Lanier. We have been playing really good and been swinging the bat. We havent been watching strike threes go by.