Sports

Jump's two-out blast sinks Decatur

By CASEY OLSON

The Mirror

The Decatur Gators were one out away from walking away with a huge win over the five-time defending South Puget Sound League South Division champion Federal Way Eagles Tuesday afternoon.

But Federal Way second baseman Mitchell Jump wasn’t about to let that happen. Trailing 1-0 with two outs in the top of the seventh and Brandon Turrell sitting on third base, Jump drilled Gator reliever Brad Reid’s second pitch over the centerfield wall at Decatur to give the Eagles a much-needed 2-1 win in dramatic fashion.

“I wasn’t going in expecting to hit a home run,” Jump said. “Good things happen, I guess.”

Reid entered the game to face Jump after an ultra-impressive performance by Decatur starter Ross Humes. Humes allowed just three Federal Way hits while striking out nine in his 6 2/3 innings of work Tuesday.

“I was going in expecting to see Ross,” Jump said of his final at-bat. “He had gotten me twice before. But when Reid came in, I just had the same approach of looking to hit something hard on the ground up the middle.”

Jump did just that, except for the on the ground part.

The win improves the Eagles to 6-3 in the SPSL South and 8-3 overall and puts them one loss behind first-place Curtis (8-2) and Beamer (7-2). The loss dropped Decatur to 3-6 in the South and 4-7 overall.

The game was a classic pitchers duel between Humes and Federal Way senior Jon Flood. The two combined to strike out 17 and allow just six total hits. Flood was actually the first baserunner of the game when he squirted a ground ball through the infield with two outs in the top of the fourth inning.

“I felt great from the start,” Flood said. “I’m hoping this gives us some momentum.”

It was Decatur who had all the momentum after Jay Walkup broke up Flood’s perfect-game in the bottom of the fifth. Walkup connected with a Flood fastball that sailed over the centerfield fence to give Decatur and Humes a seemingly invincible 1-0 lead.

But Turrell, Federal Way’s senior first baseman, lined a single to right-center with one out in the seventh to get things going for the Eagles. Nick Harteau followed with, what looked like, a go-ahead home run down the left-field line, but the home plate umpire called the ball foul. Harteau then grounded out for the second out — setting the stage for Jump’s two-out, two-run homer.

Decatur loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh on two walks and an error, but Flood got a ground ball to end the game.

“I think this just proves that we are not going to give up,” Federal Way coach Eric Fiedler said. “We got a big hit from Mitchell and you are going to have to knock our guys out to beat us.”

The Eagles also downed Bethel 4-1 Wednesday afternoon behind the pitching of Turrell, who limited the Braves to just three hits in seven innings of work.

Federal Way had lost three of their last five games entering the Decatur win, including a 4-3, eight-inning loss to Thomas Jefferson (6-4 in the South, 7-5 overall) Monday afternoon in another back-and-forth game.

The Raiders rallied for three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to pick up their first win over Federal Way in six years.

Junior Erik Church’s soft liner over shortstop, drove in Ron Tomyn and Todd Muecklisch with the winning runs. After the Eagles tallied two runs in the top of the eighth, TJ’s Jason Voigt led off with a walk and Tomyn and Muecklisch followed with bunt singles to load the bases. Brandon Lee then made it 3-2 with an RBI single, setting up Church’s game-winner off Kyle Skinner.

Jefferson was holding on to a 1-0 lead through the top of the seventh, thanks to the pitching of Travis Warnock. The junior held the powerful Federal Way offense without a hit through the top of the sixth inning, before Tyler Pac broke up the no-hitter with a lead-off single.

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