WF West 13, Tumwater 0

(Centralia, WA) The Tumwater T-Birds had taken the long way to not only get to the District Championship game and a trip to the Regional round of the State Tournament, they took the long way from the beginning of the season. after a strong run over the past several seasons this year it looked maybe graduation had caught up and they limped into post season on a 3-game losing streak.

But when their backs were against the wall something clicked and this team went on a crazy run. First, they defeated Aberdeen in a loser out play-in game 3-1 sending the Bobcats home. Up next was Hudson’s Bay and the Eagles jumped out to a 4-0 lead only to see the T-Birds complete the comeback in the bottom of the 7th with the winning run to oust Bay 5-4.

The win earned the T-Birds a #4 seed and sent them on the road to Ridgefield the #1 seed from the GSHL. Tumwater then began a 14 inning run scoring an average of nearly 2 runs an inning putting up 8 in the top of the 1st inning against the Spudders and winning it 16-11. In the Semi-finals against Centralia they won handily 11-5 after leading 10-1. And that’s how the T-Birds magical District run led them to the Championship game against WF West.

The Bearcats on the other hand, was the only team that truly appeared to improve each week of the season as players stepped up and figured out their roles while the pitching staff took time to sort itself out and they certainly have done exactly that. The Bearcats qualified for the District Tournament by winning the Evco 2A league title and earning the #1 seed from the Evco.

The Cats rolled in the 1st round knocking off Mark Morris 12-4 and followed that up with a win over Hockinson to get to the Title game. Their only stumble may have been against Hockinson where they took a 4-0 lead then had to hold on for the 4-3 victory.

So when this game began would it be the continuation of a remarkable Tumwater run or would the steady Bearcats snap the streak. The answer…Bearcats not only snapped the streak, they destroyed it. After scoring a run in the 1st after 2 outs the Cats busted loose in the 2nd putting up a 7 spot and chasing T-Bird starter Joseph Brascher. The T-Bird defense didn’t help their pitchers in this game booting 5 plays but the Cats were also pounding the ball.

WF West sent 12 batters to the plate in the 2nd inning plating 7 runs taking advantage of both the errors and timely hitting. The Bearcats would add another 4 runs in the 3rd inning and finished with another run in the 4th and 5th innings while smacking 13 hits. Dakota Hawkins unloaded a big double while Hunter Fuchs, Elijah Johnson, Brody Holcomb, Hayden Dobyns and Tyson Guerrero all had hits in this game.

Meantime, Brandon White, a sophomore, pitched all 5 innings and picked up the complete game shut out. The Bearcats last won the District Championship in 2013 and they also took the State Title that season over Tumwater. WF West advances to the Cemtralia Regional next Saturday and will play the #4 team from the Dist 2  and 3 Tournament at 1pm. It will be River Ridge, Liberty, Fife or Sequim. Those 4 teams are playing off tomorrow.

Tumwater will play at the Franklin Pierce Regional and open at 10am against the #2 seed from District 1.

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By paulb

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