Sports

Federal Way's Beamer baseball team thrives on new home field

Todd Beamer co-captain Scotty Sunitsch swings his bat at the high school’s new baseball field. Snitsch is a pitcher that will be heading to Washington State University next year.  - Terrence Hill, UW News Lab
Todd Beamer co-captain Scotty Sunitsch swings his bat at the high school’s new baseball field. Snitsch is a pitcher that will be heading to Washington State University next year.
— image credit: Terrence Hill, UW News Lab

Mud and baseball don’t mix, but the Todd Beamer High School baseball team has been dealing with the muck for years.

This year, the Federal Way school district funded a new infield for the team and they have benefitted from the better field conditions.

“We had a big drainage issue,” said Jerry Peterson, head baseball coach and athletic director. “The field slopes towards home plate, so all the water would just sit around home plate.”

The team is now playing on a completely revamped turf infield, funded and built through district, county and community support.

“Being able to have this new field our senior year has been great,” said team co-captain Lawyer Braun. “It feels like all of our hard work has paid off.”

The Beamer team has not disappointed on their new field this year. They have posted 14 wins on the year and were only beaten twice at home. They are currently the fifth-ranked team in the 4A classification.

While the school would have liked to redo the entire field in turf, that proved too costly. Instead, the infield was redone with a new turf pitcher’s mound, a turf warning track, a turf surface around home plate and turf replacing the inner part of the infield.

Before this year, all of the high schools in the school district played on fields with dirt infields. Beamer is now the only school in the district that does not.

The field was inspired by ballparks, such as the ones at Curtis High School and the University of Washington’s Husky Ballpark, Peterson said.

“The mound is amazing,” says Beamer co-captain Scotty Sunitsch. “Easily my favorite part of the new field.”

It’s no surprise that Sunitsch likes the new pitcher’s mound. He will be headed to Washington State next year as a pitcher. He has posted a sub 2.00 ERA and averages more than a strikeout per inning this year.

Next year, Braun will attend Bellevue Community College to play baseball. The two-time first-team all-SPSL player is currently batting above .300 on the year.

Both players have emphasized that winning a state championship is their only current goal.

“Our pitching has been great all year and really helped us out early this year,” says Braun. “Now we are playing well in all facets and team chemistry has been keeping us going.”

The team finished the season in second place in the SPSL South division. The only team ahead of them is Puyallup, who is undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the state and No. 6 in the nation.

“We played Puyallup tough both times,” says Peterson. “It’s been a great year for us and I think we’re prepared to make a run in the playoffs.”

With their win against Union High School on Tuesday, Beamer has become one of seven teams that will qualify for the state playoffs from the West Central/Southwest District playoffs. They will be the first, second, third or fourth seeded team from the area.

“The new field has helped us competitively this year,” says Peterson. “We’re very thankful for all of the people who supported it and helped our team.”

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Beamer High School co-captain Lawyer Braun will attend Bellevue Community College to play baseball. The two-time first-team all-SPSL player is currently batting above .300 on the year.

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This year, the Federal Way school district funded a new infield for the Beamer baseball team and they have benefitted from the better field conditions.

 

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