Warriors upset Eagles to claim state playoff berth |Baseball

Edmonds-Woodway beats Arlington 3-0
By David Pan | May 10, 2018
Photo by: David R Pan The Warriors celebrate a 10-7 district playoff victory over Snohomish with a group jump Saturday, May 5, at Edmonds-Woodway High School.

Edmonds-Woodway is headed back to the state regional baseball playoffs.

The Warriors clinched their second straight 3A berth with a gritty 3-0 victory over Arlington in a District 1 semifinal tournament game Tuesday, May 8, at Everett Memorial Stadium.

Junior Ian Michael pitched 6 2/3 innings to lead the Warriors, who snapped the Eagles’ 19-game winning streak. Junior Logan Kruse earned the save.

Edmonds-Woodway (14-8) came into the season as the defending Wesco 3A South and district champions but was somehow overlooked since many of the team’s key players graduated.

“I felt like we were sort of the underdog this year,” Edmonds-Woodway coach Dan Somoza said. “People were writing us out. These guys showed a lot of heart. We’re back in it again and that’s what our goal was all year – to get there (state) and to improve a little bit all throughout the year. I think we’ve gotten a lot better since the beginning of the year.”

Up next for the Warriors is a rematch with Marysville-Pilchuck in the district championship game at 4 p.m., Saturday, May 12, at Everett Memorial Stadium. The Warriors beat the Tomahawks 6-0 in late March. Marysville-Pilchuck defeated Meadowdale 9-1 in the other district semifinal contest.

Michael said the Warriors put together an all-around solid game against Arlington.

“We just really came together today and we played great defense,” he said. “We hit the ball. We had quality at-bats and we just competed out there.”

Sam Alvarado and Jalil Marinez’s back-to-back bunts and an error in the top of the sixth inning set up Edmonds-Woodway’s first run. Senior Julian Kodama hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score Alvarado.

The Warriors added two more runs in the seventh in large part to their patience at the plate.

Michael hit a double and then the bases were subsequently loaded after two walks. Arlington then forced in a run with a walk and allowed another run on a wild pitch.

“We work on that all the time. Coach Somoza stresses it all the time in practice that small ball wins games,” Michael said. “One mistake just turns into more and more and more.”

The two insurance runs turned out to be important as Arlington loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh before Kruse recorded the final out.

“Anytime you can get that extra one, two, three runs on top of the first, it’s huge,” Somoza said. “It’s so important to get those extra runs.”

Edmonds-Woodway advanced to Tuesday’s semifinal game after a come-from-behind 10-7 victory over Snohomish on Saturday, May 5, at Edmonds-Woodway High School.

The Warriors trailed 6-2 before scoring four runs in the bottom of the fourth to tie the score. Kodama struck the big blow with a three-run double.

Edmonds-Woodway then pushed across four runs in the sixth as the Panthers struggled to throw strikes. Snohomish issued five walks, two of which were intentional, threw two wild pitches and weren’t able to field a suicide squeeze bunt by the Warriors.

“It was awesome. We competed every inning,” Kodama said. “We never gave up. That’s why I love this team. It was a huge win for us.”

Kodama noted that the Warriors were not looking to walk in the sixth inning. It just worked out that way.

“We were just up there being aggressive,” he said. “We never got anything we wanted.”

Somoza added that at the start of the year, Edmonds-Woodway hitters were swinging out of control.

“We really worked in practice on being selective for your pitches,” he said. “It paid off, especially when a pitcher is struggling a little bit. You don’t want to help him out by swinging at that first pitch.”

Another turning point came during a meeting called by the players after Meadowdale swept the two-game regular season series in mid-April.

“I think that really turned things around,” Michael said. “We all kind of came together and just played for each other.”

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