Federal Way High School baseball team (20-4) split their two games in the bi-district playoffs on May 11 in Kent.
It was in the first game of the day that the Eagles started out flat defensively versus a strong-hitting Camas team. Federal Way committed multiple errors early in the game while Camas looked like they could be deserving of their top ranking as the Papermakers ultimately won the district tournament.
Federal Way didn’t appear to be playing at their usual level to start the first game.
The Papermakers got up on Federal Way in the top of the first inning with a 3-0 lead. It was 4-2 in the fourth inning when Camas scored another four runs to go up by a sizable score of 8-2.
The Eagles immediately countered in the same inning with four runs of their own, cutting into the Papermakers lead with an 8-6 score going into the fifth inning.
The Eagles settled down defensively, including pulling off three double-plays, and were trying to pick away at their two-run deficit.
However, the game ended with a score of 8-7 and with the Eagles one run short of the Papermakers. Federal Way just missed the district championship game, but had already clinched entry into the state regional playoffs earlier in the week.
The Eagles took their second game of the day in a mostly uneventful win by a score of 5-1, defeating Tahoma for the second time in the playoffs.
The game livened up when Brandham Ponce hit a two-run homer in the third inning, his eighth of the year, and Abiel Gonzales followed up in the fourth inning with a solo out-of-the-park shot of his own.
Tahoma scored their only run in the fourth inning when Connor Dodge batted in a lead-off walk on a ground ball to right field. Ponce and Tyler Hoeft split pitching duties in the game for the Eagles, giving up only a couple of hits each.
For the state regionals, the Eagles will play Central Valley from Spokane (21-3) at Everett Memorial Stadium at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 18. Only the winner advances to the state quarterfinals at 4 p.m.
The stakes are high for all 16 teams playing in the two rounds of the state regional playoffs; in all games the loser is out.
The final four teams left after Saturday’s state regional tournament will punch their ticket to the state semifinals in Pasco on May 24. The state high school baseball championship will be played at GESA Stadium in Pasco Saturday, May 25.