With hard-throwing 5-foot-9 senior Nick Hull, the Warriors are ranked third in the state and open the regional round Saturday against Mountain View in Mount Vernon.
Nick Hull and his Edmonds-Woodway baseball team are unassuming. Kind of like a turbo Honda Civic with rusted paint.
“You think it’s not much and easy to break,” Hull said. “Then you see a Corvette on the freeway, downshift and rip on them. That’s what happens when you see our team, then we start hitting and they can’t catch up.”
Hull laughs. Perhaps it’s not that easy. But the Warriors (17-6) are ranked third in Class 3A in the Washington Baseball Poll and feeling confident headed into the regional round of the state tournament on Saturday.
When: May 20 for the regional round; May 26-27 for state semifinals and championship games.
Where: Regionals at various sites. Class 1B/2B state tournament at Wheeler Field in Centralia, Class 1A/2A state tournament at County Stadium in Yakima, Class 3A/4A state tournament at Safeco Field.
Follow along: #wastatebb; @SeaTimesPreps (Seattle Times); @JaydaEvans.
Top story lines: Puyallup, which is nationally ranked by USA Today, is making its 10th straight trip to state but has won the Class 4A title only once (2014). It lost in the opening round last year. ... Kentlake is making its first state appearance since 2008. ... Colton (Class 1B) and Selah (Class 2A) are the only defending champions in the field. Colton has won six baseball titles in school history. ... Bothell defeated higher seeds Mount Si and Issaquah for the KingCo 4A tournament title and first trip to state since 2013.
Top players: Sr. Michael Attalah 6-2, Cedar Park Christian; Sr. Noah Hsue 5-6, Mercer Island; Sr. Michael Newstrom 5-10, Puyallup; Sr. Ryan Ober 6-0, Glacier Peak; Sr. Justin Armbruester 6-4, Eastside Catholic.
Favorites: Colton (Class 1B), Cashmere (Class 1A), Selah (2A), Eastside Catholic (Class 3A), Puyallup (Class 4A).
Last: Selah is making its 12th straight tournament appearance. The Vikings (20-1) open against rival Ellensburg, which handed Selah its sole loss of the season 9-2 in March.
Edmonds-Woodway faces Mountain View (13-8) at Dream Field in Mount Vernon. Hull, a 5-foot-9 right-handed pitcher, will be on the mound.
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The fiercest thing about the senior’s appearance is the dragged eye black used to prevent glare. His arm is that turbo power underneath the uniform that’s driving the Warriors this season. His powerful arm is still a strange trait to Hull.
After consistently batting above .500 until high school, his hitting plummeted to .150 as a freshman third baseman. As a pitcher, Hull has an ERA of 1.81 in 54 innings, striking out 81 batters this season.
“He came out for his junior year and I was like, ‘Dang,’ ” Edmonds-Woodway coach Dan Somoza said. “He was (throwing) in the 80s (mph) as a sophomore and jumped up to the high 80s. He just worked hard in the offseason. And the one thing he does now is compete in the strike zone. If guys are going to get hits, they have to earn it.”
Hull’s passion for rebuilding cars has helped. It gets him away from constantly thinking about baseball, although a bedroom in his mother’s home is filled with parts Hull is either selling or just purchased for his sleek 2003 Subaru that’s modified to be faster than most muscle cars off the lot.
“He’s the car guy, always working on his Subaru,” said junior outfielder Jacob Kitchen. “He’s a constant. And whenever he’s on the mound, you know you’re fine. He brings a calming air to the team because he knows he’s great. That’s really good for close games. When the bats aren’t working but you have a guy who’s throwing like 90 mph and striking people out, it’s great for the team mentality.”
Edmonds-Woodway, which won the Class 3A Northwest District title, is making its first trip to state since it was a Class 4A school in 2014, when it lost to Puyallup in the regional round.
Hull is one of five seniors that helped shaped the team unity this season. Senior infielder Brandon Mitchell leads the offense, batting .431 with four home runs.
“I was just thinking about how we all get along and it’s strange to me,” said Hull, who’ll play for Grand Canyon next year. “It’s good, but the chances of it happening is pretty slim. We all have a passion for baseball. And everybody in our entire lineup you have faith in to succeed, which is an awesome feeling. Because of that, from preseason to now, I’ve felt this could be the year.”
Doubt the Warriors if you want. They’re just getting revved up.