t Decatur’s Bailey baffles K-M; FW’s Elliot clubs three
It was a week of unbelievable performances on the baseball field for Decatur’s Alex Bailey and Federal Way’s Shane Elliot. It was also a week that three of the four district high school baseball teams secured berths into the South Puget Sound League’s postseason.
Federal Way, Jefferson and Beamer clinched playoff spots and are now just battling for positioning into the SPSL Tournament, which is May 7. The Eagles and Raiders are tied for third place in the North Division with 8-4 records, behind Kentlake and Tahoma, both 9-2. Federal Way and TJ are scheduled to play Monday at Jefferson in both teams’ regular-season finale.
Beamer currently sits in a tie for second place in the South Division with a 9-3 record after knocking off the No. 1-ranked Puyallup Vikings Wednesday, 5-2.
Bailey, a Decatur senior left-hander, no-hit the Kent-Meridian Royals Monday afternoon during a 5-0 win at Decatur. Bailey faced only one hitter over the minimum during his seven innings of work. The senior walked two Kent-Meridian hitters, but picked one off first base. Bailey also struck out 10 and threw only 86 pitches in seven innings, including 66 for strikes.
Bailey didn’t step on the mound last season for the Gators. He sat out the season after having ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction surgery, or Tommy John Surgery.
The surgical procedure consists of removing a tendon from the patient’s wrist or hamstring and grafting it into the elbow — woven in a figure-eight pattern through tunnels drilled in the humerus and ulna bones of the arm.
The surgery requires a full year of rehabilitation and typically another year of pitching before returning to pre-injury form.
The win over Kent-Meridian was Bailey’s second on the season. He also beat Bethel, 3-1, in the Gators’ first game of the year. Decatur is only 4-11 on the season.
Elliot’s performance on Tuesday during a 15-4 win over Tahoma might have been even more impressive.
The senior finished the game 3-for-3 with four runs scored and eight RBIs. But what’s even more impressive is the fact that Elliot connected on three home runs, which came in consecutive innings.
Elliot hit a two-run home run in the first, another two-run homer in the second and blasted a grand slam in the top of the third inning, when the Eagles tallied eight runs against the first-place and two-time defending SPSL North champion Bears.
The win over Tahoma, coupled with a 5-0 shutout of Kentridge on Wednesday, improved the Eagles to 8-4 in the SPSL North. Federal Way has won seven games in a row after starting the season just 1-8. Jarred Lee threw a complete-game shutout against Kentridge. Lee allowed just six hits and was helped offensively by freshman Nick Tanielu, who was 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
Beamer (11-5, 9-3) knocked off the SPSL-South leading Puyallup Vikings (16-2, 11-1) Wednesday thanks to a solid pitching performance from Kelvin Ketchum.
Puyallup (16-2 overall, 11-1 South Puget Sound League South Division) had won 14 consecutive games since a loss to Olympia on March 14.
Ketchum, who struck out two and gave up one walk, also scored two of the Titans’ five runs. Brian Corliss and Justin Lee each had one hit and drove in a run for Beamer.
The Vikings, who were recently ranked No. 1 in the Class 4A state baseball poll, were held to just four hits by Ketchum. The win moved Beamer into a tie for second place with Emerald Ridge.
Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, firstname.lastname@example.org