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FWay rolls to District 10 title
By CASEY OLSON
The Federal Way American Junior Little League All Star team likes to make things interesting. The 12-player roster enjoys messing with the blood pressure of their coaches, fans and everyone associated with the team.
But, in the end, the Federal Way American 13- and 14-year-old baseball team did everything they needed to get the job done. The Americans won the coveted District 10 title Monday night with a 2-1 win over Steel Lake Little League in the championship game at the Federal Way National Baseball Complex.
The win was Federal Way Americans fourth one-run victory during their five-game tournament run. American also beat Bonney Lake/Sumner, 4-3, Renton South, 4-3, Kent, 7-6, and Renton North, 10-0, to get into the final.
This is an exciting time, said Jack Lintelman, the president of Federal Way American Little League and an assistant coach for Mike Anderson on the Junior team. They like to make things interesting. A lot of them were close games. They really learned how to win in a clutch situation.
The District 10 title moves American into the Washington State Tournament at Seattles Lower Woodland Park. They will take on District 3 champion Capitol-American of Olympia at 11 a.m. today. Capitol rolled through their district tournament by outscoring their opponents 31-6. The winner will play at 10 a.m. Sunday and the loser will play a loser-out game at 5 p.m. Monday.
Every team is going to be good at this point in the season, Lintelman said. We just need to take it one game at a time.
The winner of the state tournament will advance to the 2005 Junior League Baseball Regional in Forest Grove, Ore. Aug. 2-11. The Junior World Series will be played in Taylor, Mich.
Against Steel Lake in the district title game, American got a complete-game, two-hitter from Tony Davidek and Vinnie Lane knocked in the winning run in the sixth inning on a sacrifice fly.
In their opener, Stephen Huynh drove in the winning run in the seventh inning to down Bonney Lake/Sumner. Against Renton South, Ryan Kim threw four scoreless innings of relief and Huynh scored the game-winner after a leadoff triple in the fifth.
Federal Way then won a pivotal game against Kent, 7-6. American fell behind 6-0 before tallying six runs in the sixth inning to tie the game before Lane knocked in Kevin Olsen in the seventh to win the game.
In the semifinals, Federal Ways offense and the pitching of Lucas Gritzke were too much for Renton North. American scored eight runs in the second inning and the game was called after five innings because of the 10-run rule. Davidek, Lane and Josh Drury all had two hits.
The entire Federal Way American roster includes Blu Armstrong, Davidek, Drury, Winston Gatlabayan, Gritzke, Huynh, Caleb Kim, Ryan Kim, Nathan Korzeniecki, Lane, Matthew Messinger and Olsen.
The Steel Lake Junior League All Star team included Austin Aulava, Ronnie Castagno, Keenan Darrow, Dave Edwards, Kama Frank, Jordan Johansen, Kevin Oyer, Max Strobel, Anthony Tomyn, Brandon Warren, Wyatt Wiemer and Dan Zumwalt. The team was coached by Blake Johansen.
In other District 10 tournament action:
After winning two straight games to start the District 10 tournament, Federal Way National Little League team was bounced into the losers bracket of the 11- and 12-year-old tournament Wednesday night. The Nationals were shut out by Kent, 2-0, at Sunset Park in Auburn in a quarterfinal game.
Federal Way National was then eliminated from the double-elimination tournament Thursday by Chinook Little League (Enumclaw/Buckley), 22-2.
The Federal Way team included Jeffrey Apigo, Mitchell Bley, Jimmy Branche, A.J. Brandt, Zack Cregg, Alejandro Davenport, Jordan Ferguson, Mac Gridley, Peter Guthrie, Zach Jacobs, Tyair Love, Carson Meyers and Sean Riley. The team is coached by Gene Wilce, Steve Atkinson and Mickey Gridley.
Federal Way American was eliminated from the District 10 tournament Tuesday night by Chinook, 10-0. American opened the tournament in Auburn with an 8-1 win over Bonney Lake/Sumner before losing to Kent, 8-2, in the second round. They then went on to eliminate Renton North, 10-0, in the losers bracket thanks to a combined shut out by Dalton Alvey and Alex Olive. Terin Beck was the hitting hero during the tournament, hitting four home runs.
The American team included Brandon Llarenas, Austin Weber, Troy Peterson, Clark Colvin, Brett Evans, Drew Cratsenberg, Beck, Dylan Cooper, Olive, Adam Yunder, Alvey and Kyle Willis. The team was coached by Dan Kettner, J Roberts and Kevin Servis.
Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, firstname.lastname@example.org