Edmonds-Woodway wins first-ever district crown | Baseball

Warriors defeat Shorewood 2-1 behind strong pitching performance by Hull
By David Pan | May 19, 2017
Photo by: David Pan Edmonds-Woodway players celebrate defeating Shorewood 2-1 to win the school’s first-ever district baseball championship Saturday, May 13, at Meridian Park in Shoreline.

battled-tested Edmonds-Woodway baseball team made history last weekend.

Behind a stellar pitching performance by senior Nick Hull, the Warriors edged Shorewood 2-1 to capture the school’s first-ever district championship Saturday, May 13, at Meridian Park in Shoreline.

A tight game was nothing new to Edmonds-Woodway (17-6). The Warriors played in 10 games decided by two runs or less and were 6-4 in those 10 games.

“We’ve played in a ton of close games. This one was no different,” Edmonds-Woodway coach Dan Somoza said. “Close game all the way throughout. We happened to come out on top against a really tough team in Shorewood.”

The Thunderbirds swept the regular season series against the Warriors, which happened to be the final two games of the season. Edmonds-Woodway already had clinched the league title by then, though.

Hull and his teammates were eager to play Shorewood (17-6).

“We really wanted to get them this time,” Hull said. “They finished right behind us in the regular season and we had the better record. But they beat us.”

Hull, the Warriors No. 1 starter, allowed six hits and struck out seven in the complete-game effort. He worked out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the second inning with a strikeout and a double play and also had two runners on with no outs in the sixth.

“Nick was outstanding,” Somoza said. “I mean he pitched great and they had bases loaded, no outs. Who gets out of that? He struck out the guy and then got that double play. He just pitched great. He’s been like that all year for us. He’s our bona-fide ace, one of the top pitchers around and he showed that today.”

Hull said he resisted the effort to overthrow the baseball in the second inning. Instead, he relied on what he described as one of the best defenses in the state.

“I let them hit a ball and it rolled to the shortstop, Brandon (Mitchell), and he rolled it to Julian (Kodama) for the double play,” Hull said.

In the sixth inning, Hull went aggressively after the hitters and threw strikes.

“When I’m ahead in the count, it’s pretty bad to be the hitter,” Hull said.

Edmonds-Woodway and Shorewood both already clinched state berths. The Warriors are scheduled to play Mountain View in a first round state regional game at 1 p.m., Saturday, May 20, at Dream Field in Mount Vernon. If Edmonds-Woodway wins, a game would follow against either Arlington or Eastside Catholic.

Beating the Thunderbirds, who finished second at state in 2011 and 2015 and fourth in 2010 and 2014, can only be a confidence boost for the Warriors.

“We’re always excited to play Shorewood,” Somoza said. “Coach Wyatt (Tonkin) does a great job. Their teams are always competitive and they have good pitching. You always want to go against the best and really battle-tests us for state next week.”

There’s no question who is the top team in the Wesco 3A South in Hull’s mind.

“I think we’re the best team in our division,” he said. “We showed that.”

Edmonds-Woodway took a 1-0 on a Jacob Kitchen single that brought home Mitchell, who had drawn a two-out walk in the third inning. Shorewood tied the score with a run in the fourth.

Shorewood’s miscues in the field led to the Warriors’ second run. Kodama, who reached base on an error, scored on another error.

Hull expected a close game against the Thunderbirds.

“After we scored the first run, I knew they were going to be down,” Hull said. “But then they came back and it was a back-and-forth game the whole time.”

This is Edmonds-Woodway first appearance in the state regionals since 2012.

“Our expectation is to keep playing hard, the way we’ve been. We have great senior leadership,” Somoza said. “We’re going to have a lot of fun together. This team, they’ve really bonded together. Whatever happens, we’re going to leave it on the field.”

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