High school baseball season concludes with first full season since 2019

By Bill Wilford, For the Mirror

The prep baseball season in Federal Way ended with a full 20 game schedule as 20 seniors played their final high school varsity games. Only a handful were fortunate enough to play on varsity as freshmen, before the pandemic ended baseball for a while.

Federal Way High School punched its ticket to the district playoffs with a 3-1 win over Tahoma on May 4 and finished with a 13-6 league record, third in the highly competitive 4A North Puget Sound League. That earned them a first-round district playoff matchup with Puyallup, the top-ranked baseball team in the state. Seniors include shortstop Ayden Vega (Pierce College commit), second base Anthony Myers (Skagit College commit), pitcher Trevi Vo and outfielder Malachi Wayman. Freshman Orlando Young struck out 74 batters this season which was one of the top in both league and statewide in the 4A division along with a 1.78 league ERA. Senior Anthony Myers led the Eagles with a .431 average that included 11 doubles, three triples, and a home run. Vega was a starter on varsity since his freshman year and both Myers and Vo were with the 2019 varsity team back when they reached the state quarterfinals. Their team is coached by Ron Sherwin and assistants Gary Spinnell, Ben Ruff and Dylan Kilmurray.

Jefferson finished with a great season against some tough competition, only one win out of making the 3A district playoffs and they won six of their final nine games. Two college baseball commits in Drew DeLaCruz (Bellevue College) and Wybrand Barron (Westcliff University) along with seniors; pitcher Cayden Boardway (football recruit), outfielder Kenzo Kimura, catcher Isamu Une and shortstop Diego Andrade. Freshman Kort Baker ended up as one of the top batters in the league hitting .463 in the 14 team NPSL (.475 overall) and led the team in pitching ERA and strikeouts. DeLaCruz and sophomore Kyler Herwick also finished with batting averages over .400. DeLaCruz was the only freshman on their 2019 varsity team. Back in 2019, in a special non-league game played at Cheney Stadium, the Raiders brought up and played 24 different players. Their team is coached by Joseph Townsend and assistants Harold Adams, Hunter Henry and Rico Adams.

Decatur had a fantastic season in a very competitive 4A league, with a solid 11-8 league record that would have sent them to the postseason in many other leagues. Seniors include an elite group with pitcher Luke Dalrymple, shortstop Tyler Harries (Centralia College commit), pitcher Aidan Mandia, infielder R’Mani Adams (Bellevue College commit) and infielder Rory Crowder. Dalrymple struck out 45 batters along with a 1.76 ERA (.67 ERA after his first six games) while Harries led the Gators with a .409 batting average and a .975 fielding percentage at shortstop. Mandia was a pitcher on the 2019 varsity team while Dalrymple and Harries traveled with that varsity team as freshmen to a special game at Cheney Stadium. Their team is coached by Chris Fox and assistants Jeff Barsaloux, Rick Adams and Mike Holloway.

Beamer completed their baseball season on May 9 with an elite set of graduating seniors; first base/pitcher Jacob Luft, catcher/pitcher James Turner, outfielder Jack Garfield, second base Justin Blair and pitcher Gage George. As a freshman, Turner was a starter and key player on varsity back in 2019 and he led the Titans in batting average this year. Luft played almost every position on the field this year and was hot in the second half of the season where he batted .545 in the last nine games. Their team is coached by Donny McConnaughey and assistants Dustin Suk and Rick Priest.

While the pandemic finally made an exit, it was not before it left an indelible mark on youth baseball starting with the spring 2020 prep season, which was abruptly canceled just before the first game.

The freshmen back in 2019 are now all graduating seniors and many promising young players graduated without ever having the opportunity of playing out their high school baseball dreams.