The Federal Way High School boys baseball team has made it to the 4A state semifinals for the first time since 2010.
“It is very exciting,” said third-year coach Arlo Evasick. “Anytime you are competing and playing sports, anything can happen, which is why you practice and play hard. They have really maximized opportunities this year. They have gotten hot at the right time.”
The Eagles play Richland at 10 a.m. Friday, May 25, at GESA Stadium in Pasco. The winner will play for the state title at 4 p.m. Saturday, May 26, at GESA against the victor in the semifinal matchup between Skyview and Wenatchee. The losing teams of each semifinal game will play for third place at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Evasick said he is pleased with the team’s success this season.
“I told the kids this year if they won 15 games, I would get them new jerseys next year,” he said.
The team has exceeded that goal with a 17-8 record going into the semifinals.
Getting to the semifinals wasn’t an easy task. The Eagles beat Mount Vernon 12-2 on Saturday morning at Heidelberg Field in Tacoma to advance to the next round where they faced Puyallup (23-2), a team they had lost to twice this season – 13-1 in the first matchup in March and 9-1 in a state seeding game on May 12.
“Puyallup is probably the toughest opponent we have played all year,” Evasick said. “It just wasn’t a competitive game at all either time.”
But last Saturday’s game was different, he said. Federal Way came out on top, beating the Vikings 6-5.
“Really the whole team played the best game we’ve played all year,” he said.
Evasick hopes to carry that momentum into the semifinals.
“We are just trying to get them ready to play the same kind of baseball game they played last weekend,” he said. “We teach the kids to beat the game of baseball. If you are doing the little things right, if you focus on winning each pitch, then you are going to have a good chance to win the game.”
Win or lose in the state semifinals, Evasick wants his team to enjoy every moment.
“We try to remind the kids, since it is something they might never do again at any level, to take a chance to look to the stands and smile at their parents and their girlfriends and just enjoy being there.”
Federal Way won the state title in 2001, took second place in 2000, 2002 and 2003, and finished third in 2010.