Richland (4A) and Southridge (3A) keep the state baseball titles in the Tri-Cities.
PASCO — It was the perfect way to end one season, and — in a sense — start another.
And it was so fitting for the fickle Federal Way baseball team, known for its Jekyll and Hyde personality.
After a semifinal game to forget, the Eagles closed out their 2018 campaign with a 13-5 victory over Wenatchee on Saturday at Gesa Stadium to earn third place in the Class 4A state baseball tournament.
“To be able to bounce back just shows a lot of heart from the team, and that’s how it’s been all year,” said Garrett Morris, one of Federal Way’s three seniors. “We always bounce back from things. It’s just the character of these guys in here.”
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Morris pitched five shutout innings and was lifted during Wenatchee’s five-run sixth, which ate into what had been an 8-0 lead. But the Eagles (18-8) answered with five of their own in the bottom of the inning and Cole Bakker pitched a 1-2-3 seventh to close out the victory.
Federal Way was schooled 11-0 by Richland in five innings Friday and coach Arlo Evasick challenged his players to treat the consolation game as the start of the 2019 season.
“We went with the lineup we thought it would look like next year (without the seniors), just to give them a taste of it,” he said.
Junior outfielder Brandon Ponce did his job in the leadoff spot, reaching base four out of five tries with a single and three walks, scoring three times and picking up two RBI.
“He’s our catalyst,” said Evasick, who got 16 of his 17 players in the game and lamented the one freshman who didn’t get a nod thanks partly to that late Wenatchee rally.
It’s the Eagles’ first state trophy since 2010, when they were also third. Wenatchee (17-9), third in both 2014 and ’16, finishes fourth.
Richland wins title
It’s been a banner year for the Bombers (18-10), who added the baseball championship to the football title they won last fall. And their boys basketball team reached the state semifinals, ultimately finishing fourth.
This baseball crown came with a three-run rally in the seventh, snapping a tie at 2. Gavin March brought the go-ahead run home with a squeeze bunt and Josh Mendoza followed with a two-run single as the Bombers won 5-2 over Skyview.
Taylor Johnson went the distance on the mound for Richland, shutting Skyview out after a two-run first.
It’s the fifth championship for a storied program, but first since 2009. Skyview of Vancouver (22-6) finishes second after taking third last season.
Suns keep rising
From third to second to first — finally.
Senior catcher Lane Hailey went 3 for 4 with a double, triple and six RBI as the Suns from Kennewick continued their rise and claimed the championship to cap a third straight trip to the Final Four.
Southridge (23-4) won 11-6, breaking open a 2-1 game with two runs in the fifth and four in the sixth, then making it 11-2 with three in the seventh. The Suns needed the cushion.
Kelso (21-9) didn’t go quietly, sending 10 batters to the plate in the bottom of the seventh to push four runs across. The bases were loaded when Brendan Tool ended it with a strikeout.
Jacob Dahlquist dominated on the mound and Bryson Beltran set the tone at the plate as the Crusaders closed out their season on a high note, winning 10-0 after the disappointing semifinal defeat against Southridge.
“We knew we needed to come out and show everybody what we really are,” said Dahlquist, a 6-foot-8 junior who has committed to Washington.
He went five innings, striking out eight, walking three, hitting one and giving up three hits.
Beltran, a senior first baseman headed to Gonzaga, went 3 for 5 with two doubles, three RBI and two runs.
“It’s good to go out on a high note,” he said.
Eastside (19-8-1) jumped up 2-0 in the first, then pulled away with seven runs in the final three innings.